The Guardian appropriately reports this morning that:

Covid vaccines should be made available for people to buy privately in Britain, leading scientists have urged, amid concerns over a new wave of the virus which could worsen in autumn and winter.

Unlike flu jabs, which individuals or employers can buy for about £15 from high street pharmacies, Covid jabs are only available on the NHS in the UK.

They add:

This month the UK government announced that the Covid autumn booster programme would cover a smaller pool of the population than earlier vaccination drives. The age limit has been raised from 50 to 65 and above, with some younger vulnerable groups also eligible.

The politics of this are staggering, and I stress that it is politics that matter here.

Only just over three years ago, we closed the economy because of Covid. We know more now. We might (I stress, might) not do that again, but no one can be sure about the pre-vaccine era if we get another pandemic.

What we can be sure about is that Covid is still prevalent. It is still nasty for many of those who get it. Hospitalisations are happening. It is still causing excess deaths. It is, through changes described as long Covid, increasing risks of early death from other diseases and the rate of incapacity. It is a massive issue in public health. Many deeply rational people remain rightly concerned about it, and many public health professionals are concerned about the risk it presents this winter.

In light of that, it would make sense to provide as comprehensive a vaccination programme as possible for Covid. Why on earth would you do anything else? And yet the programme we are going to get is grudging and specifically excludes some vulnerable groups, such as children, where the UK is a decided outlier.

And why too the refusal to make this vaccine available privately? Remember, it is a Tory government that believes in private healthcare that is doing this. So why this particularly strange approach?

There is only one possible explanation.  It is that the Tories wish us to forget Covid and their massive mismanagement of it, as well as the corruption, the unnecessary deaths and the waste. So desperate are they that we do forget those things that they are willing to put lives at risk again.

You cannot make callousness on this scale up. It has to be witnessed to be believed.

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