Boris Johnson could be vaccinated live on TV to prove the jab is safe, his press secretary suggested today.
Allegra Stratton said: ‘We all know the character of the Prime Minister, I don’t think it would be something that he would rule out.
‘But what we also know is that he wouldn’t want to take a jab that should be for somebody who is extremely vulnerable, clinically vulnerable, and who should be getting it before him.’
British regulators were the first in the world to approve the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, paving the way for jabs to start next week.
People at the most risk from coronavirus – the over 80s and care home residents – and health workers will be first in line.
However Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has been calling on politicians to also receive the vaccine early – and be broadcast on air – to encourage anxious Britons to follow suit.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock took him up on his proposal that they both take the jab in front of the cameras, adding that it ‘would be worth it’ if it persuaded people of its safety.
Similarly, speaking at her daily conference, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: ‘If I thought it would help persuade anybody I will do it.’
Earlier today Mr Hancock stressed that the order in which people received a vaccine would be determined by clinical need.
Morgan told the Health Secretary on Good Morning Britain: ‘I’ll come to where you are anytime next week if we can do this. Let’s do it together, live on air. It would be powerful, it would send the right message.’
Mr Hancock said: ‘Well, we’d have to get that approved because, of course, there is a prioritisation according to clinical need and, thankfully, as a healthy, middle-aged man, you’re not at the top of the prioritisation.
‘But if we can get that approved and if people think that’s reasonable then I’m up for doing that because once the MHRA has approved a vaccine – they only do that if it is safe.
‘And so, if that can help anybody else, persuade anybody else that they should take the vaccine then I think it’s worth it.’
That the Prime Minister should be at the front of the queue for a vaccine in order to demonstrate its safety was touted yesterday by a senior Tory MP.
In the Commons former minister Sir Desmond Swayne also said high-profile celebrities should throw their weight behind the vaccination drive.
He said: ‘The way to persuade people to have a vaccine is to line up the entire Government and its ministers and their loved ones and let them take it first, and then get all the luvvies, the icons of popular culture out on the airwaves singing its praises.’