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Labour leader in Wales breaks ranks with Keir Starmer – ‘Will follow advice of scientists'

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The Welsh First Minister was grilled about teachers being bumped up the queue for jabs during an appearance on Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. Asked if he agreed with the Labour leader that teachers should be prioritised, Mr Drakeford admitted he did not.

The Labour First Minister insisted he would follow the advice of the official vaccination body, which has set out the top nine priority groups which include over 50s, frontline health and care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Presenter Sophy Ridge asked: “There have been calls from Labour for teachers to be prioritised and moved up the vaccine queue to try and get schools reopened.

“That’s obviously against the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

“Do you agree or disagree with Keir Starmer there?”

Mr Drakeford replied: “Well we don’t take the same view on that matter.

“We follow the advice of the JCVI.

“The JCVI will be considering the case for professional groups being moved up the priority list.

“If their advice changes, our approach will change.

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Children aged three to seven will return to school in Wales from February 22.

He said: “The advice to us from our chief medical officer and scientists is that you should, in these early stages, always take measures that could be reversed quickly if you needed to do that.

“If there were to be unintended consequences of having three to seven-year-olds back into school, then, of course, we would be able to go into reverse.

“Now we absolutely don’t want to do that.

“We want this to be the first step on the journey to getting more children back into the classroom.”

The UK reported 13,308 new cases of the virus and 621 deaths on Saturday.

A total of 14,556,827 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of the vaccine, according to the Government’s latest figures.



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