In the midst of some nations going into full lockdown and others staying firm on their refusal to introduce restrictions, one thing has become clear – vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. Yes, transmission can still occur (albeit at a lesser rate), but getting boosted significantly increases protection against the new variant and may also protect against severe disease.
Yet, many are choosing to forgo the new booster, and the UK's ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair has had some choice words about such people.
“Frankly, if you’re not vaccinated at the moment and you’re eligible, and you’ve got no health reason for not being vaccinated, you’re not just irresponsible – you're an idiot... Truthfully, you are,” he said in an interview with Times Radio yesterday.
He continued by explaining that the new Omicron variant is so contagious that if you are in circulation, you will get it, and if you are unvaccinated, you are likely to put an unnecessary strain on the health service.
"There may be all sorts of reasons but, honestly, it is in their own interest, never mind the public interest, for them to get vaccinated."
Blair seems to have since softened his stance. "Possibly I was a little too undiplomatic in my use of language," he later told BBC Radio 4's PM program.
As daily UK COVID-19 cases soar to over 100,000, the government is urging people to receive a booster dose, which can significantly increase protection against the new variant, according to a new preprint.