'Highly likely' people will be vaccinated against Covid annually

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “very likely” that people will be vaccinated against Covid annually, as with the flu.

He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I think it is very likely that there will be a double vaccination program against flu and Covid for the foreseeable future, in the medium term.”

He added: “The flu vaccination rates are at their highest ever. Over 80% of people over 65 were vaccinated against the flu this year. This is the biggest increase, a jump from last year when it was around 70%.

“This is very good news. This is good news for two reasons. First, to protect people from the flu, and second, because it shows that the vast majority of people over 65 are willing to get vaccinated.”

He also said the government is well on track to meet its target of 13 million people vaccinated by mid-February.

“Yes, we are on track. The current rate cap is supply, but that is increasing.

“I am very happy to say that more than 200,000 people are currently being vaccinated every day.

“We’ve now vaccinated around a third of people over 80 in this country, so we’re making significant progress, but there is more expansion.”

“We’re opening mass vaccination centers this week. Large locations, for example at Epsom Racecourse, seven going live this week, and more will follow next week where we will meet a very large number of people.”

A third coronavirus vaccine was approved for use in the UK on Friday as the country recorded the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in a single day at 1,325 people.

The latest stab from US biotech company Moderna was given the go-ahead by the drug and healthcare regulator, along with Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines already in use in the UK.

Almost 1.5 million people in the UK have been vaccinated with either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine. The government plans to stab 15 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February.

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