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Michael Mosley slams UK govt over pandemic

By AAP Newswire

Television presenter Dr Michael Mosley has criticised the British government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and says he fears the anti-vax movement could scupper the success of a vaccine.

The 63-year-old, who has filmed a Channel 4 series to help people improve their health, took aim at Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an interview with Radio Times magazine.

"The crisis is not being handled at all well here. The UK seems to have staggered along amazingly badly.

"In late February, Boris Johnson was still laughing about shaking hands with people on Covid-19 wards. He clearly still wasn't taking it that seriously, whereas the people who knew were screaming about it," Dr Mosley said.

"Of course more could have been done. It was obvious a long way back that people in care homes would be hit and we could have protected them.

"It would have made a big difference to go into lockdown a couple of weeks earlier."

Dr Mosley said: "We've been unclear on face masks, whereas it would be nice to have had that taken seriously in February."

Looking to the future, he said: "My greatest fear is that people won't take it because of the anti-vax movement.

"If there are enough selfish people out there who don't vaccinate, they will continue to spread it in the community."

While the anti-vaxers might not fall into the at-risk groups, they will be spreading it to those who are, Dr Mosley warned.

"If 20-30 per cent of people decide not to vaccinate, unless the government makes it mandatory, the virus will just go on spreading.

"And it's still possible that the vaccine simply won't work at all, although I don't think that will be the case. But I do think the virus will be with us for a long, long time."

"A second wave is highly likely, which will come at the same time as the flu. When we hit September I expect the numbers to shoot up."

Dr Mosley said teachers were at risk during the pandemic.

"If I were a teacher in my 60s with diabetes, I would be anxious about schools reopening, but they absolutely have to."