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UK population will be offered the vaccine ‘by autumn’, health secretary pledges


booster jab in autumn


The health secretary has promised that all adults in the UK will be offered the Covid vaccine by the autumn.

It comes as the Government will set out its vaccines delivery plan at a Downing Street press conference this afternoon.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, Matt Hancock said: ‘Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the autumn, absolutely.

He added: ‘Of course, we’ve got to do it according to need, because somebody in a care home, for instance, is many times more likely to die if they catch coronavirus than somebody like me in their forties. But absolutely we’re going to offer the vaccine to everybody. 

‘We’ve got over 350 million doses on order. They’re not all here yet and we’re rolling them out as fast as they get delivered. But we are going to have enough to be able to offer a vaccine to everyone over the age of 18 and by the autumn.’

Mr Hancock added that current lockdown restrictions will ‘formally end’ on 31 March but that the Government hopes ‘to make progress before then’.

‘[Hope] is in GP surgeries right across the land’, which will deliver the ‘large majority’ of vaccines alongside primary care colleagues, he said.

Meanwhile, the Government has said it will publish its new Covid-19 UK Vaccines Delivery Plan later today, which will lay out its development, manufacturing and deployment strategies.

Mr Hancock, who will set out the details at a press conference this afternoon, said the plan ‘will be the keystone of our exit out of the pandemic’.

He added in a statement: ‘We have worked closely with experts across the NHS, local governments and the armed forces to put in place full and thorough preparations for this rollout – this is the biggest vaccination programme in British history.

‘From today, the full scale of our plans will be published, so the public can be assured of the time, effort and resources that have gone and will go into ensuring we protect the British people from the scourge of this virus.’

Vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi added that ‘around two million’ people in the UK have now received their first dose of the vaccine.

He said: ‘Our plan of action will set out our ambitions for the coming weeks and months as we continue to expand our programme at breakneck speed, with strategies to underpin every commitment.’

It comes as the health secretary pledged last week that all GPs and their staff will be vaccinated by 15 February – and hopefully ‘sooner’.

On Friday, Pfizer announced that its vaccine is effective against new variants of the virus and the Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK – with doses to become available from the spring.

READERS' COMMENTS [3]

David OHagan 11 January, 2021 1:03 pm

..this message is the very least that could be said. It obliquely acknowledges that the process is dependant on time, and on supply chain issues, and warns people that this will not be done during this month, this ‘lockdown’ or possibly this year when 2nd doses are factored in! …

Decorum Est 11 January, 2021 1:51 pm

‘We’ve got over 350 million doses on order…’ says the man with the sly, sideways squint (pictured above).
And seeing how there’s only 65 million of you, there’ll be enough to go around (in fact you’ll be able to have five and a half doses each. Hooray!)

Patrufini Duffy 11 January, 2021 2:49 pm

Private dentists are laughing and dumbfounded that they are being immunised (with their entire teams). But, policemen, doctors and teachers working for the public and state wait in trepidation. It is a disgrace.