All adults to be offered a Covid jab 'by the autumn'

All adults are expected to be offered a Covid vaccine by the fall, Matt Hancock said.

The Health Secretary said the UK had ordered more than 350 million doses and vaccinations would be introduced “as soon as they are delivered”.

“We’ll have enough to have a vaccine for everyone over the age of 18 by the fall. I really hope everyone takes that in,” he said.

He added: “By mid-February, around February 15, our goal is to offer a vaccine to everyone in the four most vulnerable groups, namely those over 70, the clinically extremely vulnerable elderly care home residents and their carers and NHS and social workers. “

“We are on the right track to achieve this,” he added.

“But then it will be two to three weeks before they get immunity, and during this time we will continue to lower the age spectrum and aim to reach all over 50s by spring and then continue to vaccinate until the end.” everyone over 18 years. “

Mr Hancock also suggested that people could be vaccinated against coronavirus each year in a similar way to the annual flu vaccination program.

He said double vaccination for the two conditions in the future was “very likely”.

It comes when a health expert warned that even after vaccinating the most vulnerable sections of the population, things won’t necessarily go back to normal.

The government intends to offer vaccinations to nearly 14 million vulnerable people in the UK by mid-February.

More than half a million over 80s are due to be invited this week to take a stab at one of England’s seven new regional centers.

Mr Hancock said the government was well on its way to achieving its goal. Over 200,000 people in England are vaccinated every day, and around a third of people over 80 in the country are vaccinated.

Professor Peter Horby, chair of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said people may need to get a coronavirus vaccine “every few years” if it needs to be updated against new variants and depending on how long immunity lasts.

He said the information so far on the success of vaccines against new variants was “very encouraging” but warned that the virus “will not go away”.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, ‚ÄúThis (virus) is not going to go away in my opinion. We’ll have to live with it, but that can change a lot.

“It could well become an endemic virus that is with us all the time and can cause seasonal pressures and some excessive deaths, but not the major disruption we see now.”

He said even after vaccinating older people – who are more prone to the serious effects of Covid-19 due to their age – the virus must be treated “with social distancing measures as well as vaccinations for the coming months”.

Questions still need to be answered about how much protection coronavirus vaccines offer the public, said Professor Devi Sridhar.

The Edinburgh University Chair of Public Health said it was not yet clear how long immunity would last, whether the vaccines would prevent people from becoming infectious, or how much of the population would need to be covered to ensure herd immunity.

She told Times Radio, “For me the vaccine is definitely there, we need to keep rolling out and continue to save lives by protecting vulnerable people.

“But it’s not a strategy in itself, and it’s very, very risky to rely on it alone, especially with all of the new variants and mutations.” We need a plan and the vaccine supports that plan, but it’s only your plan. “

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), said the introduction of the vaccine had already prevented thousands of people with the virus from being hospitalized.

The professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol said the chairman of the JCVI had instructed members to work out a priority order plan by mid-February of who should be vaccinated next.

He told Sky News, “As you can see, these considerations are more of a social value than the criteria we normally use to represent pressures on healthcare.

“There are broader considerations when it comes to people with different professions and their relative importance to society.”

Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh received their Covid-19 vaccinations on Saturday.

A royal source confirmed the injections were given by a royal family doctor at Windsor Castle.


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