The UK will offer all its adults their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July, the prime minister has promised.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said he now wants the programme to “go distant and racing”.
He said the July target would enable vulnerable people to be shielded “sooner”. Moreover, further reduce lockdown rules across the nation. Sir Simon Stevens said there were “early signs” the vaccine rollout contributed to a fall in hospital admissions. A final meeting is due to be held by the PM with senior ministers about easing England’s lockdown later before he begins the full “road map” on Monday.
A rapid rollout of the vaccine to all vulnerable people is considered crucial to reducing the pandemic’s death toll and easing pressure on the NHS.
The government’s earlier target was to offer all adults the first dose by September.
The new plan indicates that by 15 April, all adults aged 50 and over and younger people with underlying diseases that place them at higher risk should have been offered immunisation.
However, the order of preference for under-50s will be sketched by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Prof Adam Finn said he assumed that a public notice would be made on vaccine priorities at some point in the next week.
Speed of vaccine rollout to increase?
The speedier rollout of the vaccine is likely to increase expectations. Moreover, pressure for a swifter unlocking in England, but the management is still talking the language of caution.
Senior ministers will conclude the plan today before it’s exhibited to the broader Cabinet for consent tomorrow.
It’s doubtful that any restrictions will change before 8 March, when the government wishes to get all students back into schools.
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