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'No guarantees': Health Sec refuses to rule out school closures in fight against Omicron
13 December 2021, 08:44
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has refused to rule out closing schools to protect the country from a wave of cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
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Speaking to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Javid said he 'didn't want to see' the closure of schools but said he was unable to give guarantees.
"I don't want to see that or any of these kinds of measures," he told LBC.
"I think I'd say this... if you're asking me for guarantees, I will just say - as the health secretary of course, I'm not the education secretary, as the health secretary - there are, when it comes to our fight against this pandemic, there are no guarantees.
"But what we do know that works is, in this case, a booster shot of a vaccine.
"This vaccine still is incredibly effective with a booster shot and that's why we're so focussed on it."
Mr Javid said the country had been "thrown off course" by the new variant, and said we needed to "get back on course and start winning with our vaccines again".
He said the NHS may need to postpone planned surgeries and non-urgent appointments in order to free up resources for the booster rollout, and said civil servants, military personnel and volunteers would be drafted in to help.
"We are in another race against the virus," he said.
"We must get more booster jabs out there without delay... they were important before, but they have never, ever been so important.
"This is our best way of dealing with this new variant, and please do come forward to protect yourselves, to protect your loved ones and your community."