PM: UK govt to offer COVID vaccine to all adults by July
London – All adults in the United Kingdom will be offered their first dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine by the end of July, the prime minister has pledged.
More than 17 million people have been given a jab since the UK’s Covid vaccine rollout began in December 2020.
But Boris Johnson said he now wants the programme to “go further and faster”.
He said the July target would allow vulnerable people to be protected “sooner” and would help to further ease lockdown rules across the country.
National Health Service (NHS) England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said there were “early signs” the vaccine rollout was contributing to a fall in hospital admissions.
The PM is due to hold a final meeting with senior ministers about how to ease England’s lockdown later, before he sets out the full “road map” on Monday.
A speedy rollout of the vaccine to all vulnerable people is seen as critical to reducing the pandemic’s death toll and relieving pressure on the NHS.
The government’s previous target was to offer all adults the first dose by September.
The new plan means that by 15 April 15, all adults aged 50 and over, as well as younger people with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, should have been offered a jab.
However, the order of priority for under-50s has yet to be outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Prof. Adam Finn, a member of the JCVI, said he expected that a public announcement would be made on vaccine priorities at some point in the next week.
He told BBC Breakfast: “The strategy from JCVI that’s being provided as advice to the government is just being finalised at the moment, and then government will make their decision as to how to do this during the coming days, so I think there’ll be some kind of public announcement around that in the next week or so.” (BBC)