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June 15, 2021

Britain “can’t afford to relax now,” PM says during visit to newly-opened London vaccine center

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Guy’s Hospital on December 8 in London. Frank Augstein/Pool/Getty Images

As patients across the UK become some of the first in the world to receive a coronavirus vaccine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Tuesday that cases are still rising in some parts of the country, telling citizens that now is not the time to relax.

“It’s amazing to see the vaccine come out, it’s amazing to see this tremendous shot in the arm for the entire nation, but we can’t afford to relax now,” Johnson said during a visit to a newly-opened vaccination center in London. 

“It is important for people to understand that the virus is alas still rising in some parts of the country,” the Prime Minister continued, adding that the vaccine will “gradually make a huge difference” to the national infection rate. 

The UK is the first Western nation to begin vaccinating its citizens against Covid-19, less than a week after approving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Asked whether he would be receiving the vaccine, the Prime Minister told reporters that he is “not in the priority group” outlined by the British government, but encouraged those who are eligible to take the vaccine. 

“I would just say to all those who are scared, don’t be…you see people take the vaccine this morning, in large numbers, people are going to be taking it in the next few days and and weeks and there is nothing to be nervous about,” Johnson said.