Sajid Javid Had A Pretty 'Spikey' Response To Kay Burley When Probed Over Vaccine Protection

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Kay Burley and Sajid Javid clashed on Sky News on Wednesday (Photo: Twitter @SkyNews)
Kay Burley and Sajid Javid clashed on Sky News on Wednesday (Photo: Twitter @SkyNews)

Sajid Javid was quick to squash doubts over the Covid vaccine efficacy when Sky News presenter Kay Burley pressed him over compulsory jabs for NHS workers.

The health secretary announced on Tuesday that all NHS staff who had direct interactions with patients have to be fully vaccinated by April 2022 – only those with certain medical conditions are exempt.

However, the announcement has prompted fears that the health service could endure significant staff shortages as a result just like the social care sector did after a similar mandatory Covid jab announcement.

The government itself has predicted 73,000 NHS staff – out of the 100,000 unvaccinated – might leave their jobs, as seen in care homes.

Asked why he would implement such a drastic measure when the NHS is always under strain in the winter, Javid told Sky News said he thought it was perfectly “reasonable” to ask people who worked in the health sector to get vaccinated.

He added: “Now I’m not pretending, nobody is, that you can have a 100% method of protection [from Covid].”

Burley then pointed out there was still a “pretty high” (37%) chance of passing Covid on even if you’re double-jabbed.

Getting heated, Javid talked over her and said: “Well, what would you like, Kay? Would you like 100% chance?”

“I was just about to go on, if I may,” Burley said.

The health secretary continued: “Thirty-seven percent chance – you say it’s quite high, well I’ll tell you what, 80 and 90% chance is a lot higher and I think your viewers, listening to this programme, will understand that this is about minimising the risk.”

He continued to explain how Covid is a “horrid virus” and that lots of people – include himself – “have lost loved ones” over the disease.

Javid said people receiving any kind of care will not want their care workers, who may be visiting 10 people a day, to have an increased risk of catching the disease and then transmitting it to vulnerable patients.

He added: “Your viewers don’t want to see that – I’m not saying it can be 100%, of course it can’t.”

Burley butted in and said, “if I can jump in at some stage” but the cabinet minister curtly replied: “Well you can, but I’m only doing what you normally do, but carry on.”

After an awkward pause, Burley asked: “Why not test someone everyday if they’re a frontline worker and then you’re 100% sure that they haven’t got the virus?”

Javid claimed that regular testing is already underway, only for Burley to point out that the NHS supposedly tests its staff twice a week not once everyday.

The health secretary said he was leaving such details up to the clinicians.

When retweeting the clip on her personal Twitter account shortly afterwards, Burley described her own interview as a “rather spikey exchange”.

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


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