'That's Not True' Minister Told In Row Over Booster Jab Roll Out

·3 min read
Kay Burley and George Freeman (Photo: Sky News)
Kay Burley and George Freeman (Photo: Sky News)

A minister was rapped by Kay Burley today after he was unable to say when people in their 20s and 30s would get the booster jab.

Science minister George Freeman faced a grilling by the Sky News presenter over when different age groups would get the covid booster jab.

The exchange grew heated before an exasperated Burley told him: “You don’t know the answer.”

It comes after the government announced at the start of the week that every eligible adult will be offered a booster by the end of the January, with the NHS working down the age cohorts five years at a time.

When first asked where the plan for the roll out was, Freeman told Burley we were in a global race to defeat the pandemic.

Unhappy with his response, Burley pressed him for an answer and he said the UK was setting the benchmark with its vaccine roll out which meant we did not have to impose the “draconian” regulations.

Burley applied the thumb screws: “On Monday, we were promised a plan. It’s Thursday. We haven’t got a plan. People don’t know when they can have their boosters - where’s the plan?”

Freeman insisted the NHS had a plan that was being rolled out, adding: “People can apply now, I’ve just had my text last night.”

The minister said people around the country were able to get their boosters, before Burley asked him when those in their 20s and 30s would be able to book their jab.

Freeman advised people to contact their GP - saying there were slight differences around the country, adding: “If people contact their GP now and go on the app, they can book to get their booster jab and or their second jab.”

But Burley hit back: “Minister that’s not true. You can’t get your booster at the moment if you’re in your 20s.

“The question is: We were told earlier on in the week that there’s a plan. I’m just asking you where the plan is and when people in their 20s and 30s can book their booster?”

Freeman said he did not have at his “fingertips” exactly which GP practices were making it available today, but said the NHS was “flat out” accelerating the rollout.

An impatient Burley replied: “Minister we only have a limited amount of time. The answer is you don’t know the answer…”

Freeman replied: “No no no that’s not true Kay, the answer is the NHS is doing a brilliant job.”

Burley hit back: “Minister, if you’re in your 20s, you don’t know when you can have the jab. Just admit to that because that is fundamentally the case, isn’t it?”

Freeman replied: “The case is the NHS is rolling out the vaccine programme and if you contact your GP and book it, you will get your your your jab.”

Burley moved on, before quipping: “That’s not true. It’s just not true.”

It comes as the government rushed through a deal for more than 100 million extra doses that can be tailored against variants.

Health secretary Sajid Javid has agreed to buy enough extra doses to repeat the entire vaccination programme to date as he promised to “future proof” the NHS jabs drive.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

Related...

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting