All adults to be offered Covid vaccine by end of July, PM pledges

All adults in the UK should be offered a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July, Boris Johnson has promised.

The Prime Minister said the accelerated rollout would help protect the most vulnerable sooner and allow some restrictions to be relaxed.

A vaccine will be offered to adults aged 50 and over and those with health issues who are at higher risk as part of the accelerated plans through April 15.

A sting should be offered to all adults by July 31 – although the priority order for those under 50 has not yet been established by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI).

The ministers had set the goal of offering vaccines to all adults by September, with the aim of reaching all over-50s in the first nine JCVI priority groups by May.

The new targets are seen as a sign of increasing confidence within the government that vaccine supplies will remain stable over the coming months.

The government fulfilled its ambition to offer shocks to everyone in the top four priority groups – adults aged 70 and over, frontline health and social workers, and the most clinically vulnerable – by February 15.

More than 16.8 million people have now received their first dose of vaccine at one of 1,500 vaccination sites across the country, and nearly 600,000 have received their second.

The accelerated rollout will mean that coronavirus restrictions need to be relaxed sooner, but Mr Johnson insisted that the path out of the lockdown would be “careful and gradual”.

The prime minister will spend the weekend finalizing his road map for easing tough measures before announcing the plans to MPs on Monday.

He said, “Achieving 15 million vaccinations was a significant milestone – but there will be no let up and I want the rollout to be further and faster in the coming weeks.

“We will now try to offer a sting to every adult by the end of July to protect the most vulnerable sooner and to take further steps to ease some of the existing restrictions.

“But there should be no doubt – the way out of the lockdown will be cautious and gradual as we all continue to protect ourselves and those around us.”

Downing Street said the JCVI will publish its priority list for the second phase of the vaccination program in due course, as teachers and other frontline staff need to be prioritized.

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