All UK adults will be offered a first vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday ahead of a planned announcement on the cautious reopening of the economy after the lockdown.
Prime Minister Johnson will set a roadmap on Monday to facilitate England’s third national lockdown, after meeting the target of vaccinating 15 million Britons from high-risk categories by mid-February.
Britain is now aiming to give a first dose to everyone over 50 by April 15, the government said, after indicating it wanted them to receive the vaccine by May.
If all adults receive a dose by the end of July, it will be well ahead of a previous goal that they would receive a vaccine by the fall.
After suffering the fifth worst official death from COVID-19 in the world and a series of misadventures in its response to the pandemic, Johnson’s government has moved faster than much of the West to secure the vaccine supply , which gave it a head start.
PM Johnson warned there was a need to avoid complacency, adding that the lock would only be lifted slowly.
“We will now aim to deliver a shot to every adult by the end of July, helping the most vulnerable sooner, and take further steps to ease some of the restrictions in place,” Prime Minister Johnson said in a statement. .
“But there should be no doubt – the path out of lockdown will be careful and gradual, as we all continue to protect ourselves and those around us.”
So far, the UK has given a first dose of vaccine to 17.2 million people, more than a quarter of its 67 million people and behind only Israel and the United Arab Emirates in per capita vaccines.
Two vaccines – one made by Pfizer and BioNTech, and the other developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca – are being rolled out, and UK officials have indicated there may be a 12-week gap between doses.
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