Being vaccinated is a 'moral issue' - Welby

Taking the Covid vaccine is how we can love our neighbour, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

In an interview for ITV News At Ten, Archbishop Justin Welby said that receiving the vaccine went beyond individual rights and was about caring for others. 

When asked whether he thought that being vaccinated was a "moral issue", he agreed. 

"I'm going to step out on thin ice here and say, yes, I think it is," he replied.

"A lot of people won't like that, but I think it is because it's not about me and my rights."

The Archbishop acknowledged that some people have valid health reasons that prohibit them from taking the vaccine, but he suggested everyone else should be vaccinated.

"Now obviously there are some people who, for health reasons, can't be vaccinated - different question - but it's not about me and my rights to choose," he continued. 

"It's about how I love my neighbour.

"Vaccination reduces my chances - doesn't eliminate - but it reduces my chances of getting ill and reducing my chances of getting ill reduces my chances of infecting others. It's very simple.

"So I would say yes, to love one another - as Jesus said - get vaccinated, get boosted."

Vaccines and boosters are at the centre of the government's fight against Covid after the omicron variant sent case rates soaring. 

Some experts believe the latest wave may already have peaked in England after cases plateaued in the last six days. 

The UK Health Security Agency is set to publish fresh data on Wednesday that is expected to show that the omicron variant is milder than delta.

The government has refused to cancel Christmas for a second year in a row but is considering New Year restrictions.