Matt Hancock agrees to Piers Morgan’s challenge to take vaccine live on GMB

Barney Davis
·3-min read
 (ITV)
(ITV)

Matt Hancock has accepted Piers Morgan’s challenge to get vaccinated live on Good Morning Britain to help prove the coronavirus jab is safe.

The Health Secretary also spoke about the personal tragedy of losing a relative to the disease to highlight the importance getting the vaccine.

Mr Hancock said that if a televised inoculation would help persuade people of its safety then that would be “worth it”.

UK regulators approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday, paving the way for jabs to start next week.

Some 800,000 doses will be available from next week, Mr Hancock said, with around five million possibly due in the UK by the end of the year. The Government has secured a total of 40 million doses of the vaccine.

<p>Piers Morgan threw down the vaccine gauntlet to Matt Hancock</p>ITV

Piers Morgan threw down the vaccine gauntlet to Matt Hancock

ITV

On Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, presenter Piers Morgan made the suggestion for a televised injection.

He said: “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.”

Mr Hancock also spoke about the grief of losing a relative to Covid-19. On Tuesday the Health Secretary had fought back tears in the House of Commons as as he revealed his step grandfather Derek had caught the disease in Liverpool and died on November 18.

He added: “Derek was my stepsister’s stepfather.

“I have a complicated, messy and loving family and we’re one big extended family really.

“Sadly, he caught coronavirus in November and then he passed away and it’s just awful.

“He was in his 70s and it just shows how important it is that we keep this thing under control, and it shows to everybody how important it is we can get through it.

“And the irony was that Liverpool, thankfully, has really got this under control, but in that period when the infection was going round, he caught it and he died and it shows that it can affect all of us.”

On Tuesday a senior Tory MP urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be at the front of the queue for a vaccine in order to demonstrate its safety.

In the Commons former minister Sir Desmond Swayne also said high-profile celebrities should use their status to support the vaccination drive.

“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,” he said..