As Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised, all adults in the UK will be offered their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of July. Since the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout began in December 2020, over 17 million individuals have been given a jab, the BBC reported on Saturday. But Johnson said that he now wants the “go further and faster” programme.
He said the July target would allow “sooner” protection for vulnerable individuals and would help to further ease lockdown rules across the country.
The Prime Minister is expected to hold a final meeting on Sunday on how to ease the lockdown in England before on Monday he sets out the full “road map”
To reduce the death toll of the pandemic and relieve pressure on the NHS, a rapid rollout of the vaccine to all vulnerable individuals is seen as critical.
The previous target of the government was to offer the first dose to all adults by September.
The new plans indicate that a jab should be offered by April 15 to all adults aged 50 and over, as well as to younger people with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk.
The priority order in which jabs are offered to the under-50s, however, has yet to be outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The Labour welcomed the advancement of the vaccine objectives but called on the government to prioritise individuals based on their work.
“Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “For teachers, police officers and other key workers who have not been able to stay in the lockdown at home to ask when their turn will be, it is perfectly reasonable.
If in the next phase, the government will not prioritise occupation, they need to set out why.
In the United Kingdom, at least 17.2 million people received their first dose of a vaccine at one of 1,500 vaccination sites nationwide, and nearly 600,000 received their second dose.
The government said it fulfilled its commitment to offer a vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups by February 15, including those aged 70 and over, care, home residents, health care workers, and people required to protect themselves.