'Amazing to see the vaccine - but we can't afford to relax now': Tap above to hear Boris Johnson's Covid message
Boris Johnson said it was "very, very exciting" to meet some of the first people to be vaccinated against coronavirus during a visit to Guy’s Hospital in London - but warned "we can't afford to relax now" as cases rise.
Speaking at the vaccination centre on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister said it was moving to talk to Lyn Wheeler, who was the first to receive the vaccine there.
“It was very, very exciting just to talk to Lyn about the vaccine that she has just taken,” he said.
“She is 81 and it is really very moving to hear her say she is doing it for Britain, which is exactly right – she is protecting herself but also helping to protect the entire country.”
Boris Johnson warned that, while the vaccination programme will make a “huge difference”, it will take time to vaccinate everyone.
The Prime Minister said: “It will gradually make a huge, huge difference, but I stress ‘gradually’ because we are not there yet, we have not defeated this virus yet.
“We can’t afford to relax now and so my message would be it’s amazing to see the vaccine coming out.”
Mr Johnson said people should not be afraid of getting vaccinated, and that people objecting to having the jab are “totally wrong”.
He said: “To all those who are scared (of getting vaccinated) – don’t be. You have seen Lyn (Wheeler) take it, you have seen people take the vaccine this morning in large numbers.
“There’s nothing to be nervous about.”
He added: “What I would say is that there are those obviously who feel that a vaccine is something they object to politically or for ideological reasons.
“I think they are totally wrong. It’s safe, it’s the right thing to do, it’s good for you and it’s good for the whole country.
“It’s going to take a while.
“I urge people to contain their impatience.”
People have been asked not to turn up at hospitals expecting to be vaccinated after the first patients were given jabs.
Here is a list of the NHS England hospitals in the ITV News London region administering the vaccine.
Croydon University Hospital NHS Trust
Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS FT
University College Hospitals Trust
You can see the full list here.
People aged 80 and older, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk are at the front of the queue for the jabs.