COVID-19: 'Time to distinguish' between those who have and have not had a vaccine, Tony Blair says

COVID-19: 'Time to distinguish' between

Tony Blair has said it is "time to distinguish" between people who have and haven't had a coronavirus vaccine.

The former prime minister has warned it "makes no sense at all to treat those who have had vaccination the same as those who haven't" - and said relaxing measures for those who have had both jabs will provide a powerful incentive.

Mr Blair's remarks came as it emerged that 13.5 million first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were given out in May, setting a new monthly record.

COVID-19: 'Time to distinguish' between

The ex-Labour leader also described the NHS app that proves someone is vaccinated as 'inadequate'

The ex-Labour leader also described the NHS app that proves someone is vaccinated as "inadequate", and warned it needs to be simpler and more effective.

His remarks came in response to a new report by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which says "vaccine status matters" and that health passes can "allow citizens to prove their status in a secure, privacy-preserving way".

The report's authors said that, if a health pass system was used at home and abroad, "we can move beyond blunt, catch-all tools and align with other countries by removing certain restrictions for the fully vaccinated, thereby enabling us to sustainably reopen the economy".

And they added: "For as long as the world goes largely unvaccinated and the risk of a new variant remains significant, it's vital that we have an alternative to the blunt tool of lockdowns to enable the country to live freely and safely."

Mr Blair said: "It is time to distinguish for the purposes of freedom from restriction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, both for citizens here for domestic purposes; but also for our citizens and those from other countries in respect of travel on the basis that being vaccinated substantially reduces risk."

The 68-year-old, who served as PM from 1997 to 2007, made it clear that this would involve discriminating between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, adding: "Other than for medical reasons, people should be vaccinated."

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Tony Blair has said it is "time to distinguish" between people who have and haven't had a coronavirus vaccine.

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“We know that children play a role in transmitting the virus. “We know the rest of the population is not fully vaccinated.