Vaccines for 38 and 39-year-olds from this week as Boris Johnson confirms public inquiry into handling of coronavirus

The Prime Minister has announced there will be an independent inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 1:19 pm

Boris Johnson told the Commons it will begin in spring next year, telling MPs: “This inquiry must be able to look at the events of the last year in the cold light of day and identify the key issues that will make a difference for the future.

“Free to scrutinise every document to hear from all the key players and analyse and learn from the breadth of our response.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking about the Covid-19 pandemic in the House of Commons, London. Photo by PA.

“That’s the right way, I think, to get the answers that the people of this country deserve and to ensure that our United Kingdom is better prepared for any future pandemic.”

Mr Johnson added: “So we will consult the devolved administrations before finalising the scope and detailed arrangements so that this inquiry can consider all key aspects of the UK response.

“This process will place the state’s actions under the microscope and we should be mindful of the scale of that undertaking and the resources required to do it properly.”

He also told the House: “Amid such tragedy the state has an obligation to examine its actions as rigorously and as candidly as possible, and to learn every lesson for the future – which is why I’ve always said when the time is right there should be a full and independent inquiry.

“So, I can confirm today that the Government will establish an independent public inquiry on a statutory basis, with full powers under the Inquiries Act 2005 – including the ability to compel the production of all relevant materials and take oral evidence in public under oath.

“In establishing the inquiry, we will work closely with the devolved administrations.”

It comes as it was confirmed by NHS sources people aged 38 and 39 in England will be able to book their vaccinations from tomorrow, Thursday, May 13.

On the threat of new variants, Mr Johnson said: “Should these prove highly transmissible and elude the protection of our vaccines, they would have the potential to cause even greater suffering than we endured in January.

"There is in any case a high likelihood of a surge this winter when the weather assists the transmission of all respiratory diseases and when the pressure on our NHS is most acute.”

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