Former prime minister Tony Blair has called for rapid changes to the UK vaccine policy and the introduction of health passports.

Writing in the Independent, he said the vaccine strategy should be changed in order to get a single shot to as many people as possible to slow the spread of coronavirus.

He also told readers: “Prepare for a form of health passport now.

“I know all the objections, but it will happen.

“It’s the only way the world will function and for lockdowns to no longer be the sole course of action.”

He said new variants of coronavirus here in the UK and South Africa means the current vaccination plans must be “radically accelerated”.

The two-dose vaccines offer substantial immunity after just one dose so Blair said: “We should consider using all the available doses in January as first doses, that is, not keeping back half for second doses.”

Blair also urges the government to sort out mass testing, arguing that the quicker antigen tests have a “crucial role”.

“There is a risk of a false negative with rapid tests; but at present all untested asymptomatic Covid cases are essentially false negatives,” he said.

“A 30-year-old asymptomatic Covid sufferer, unaware of their condition, could have a high viral load and be helping the virus mutate.”