Half of all adults set to vaccinated by next week with over 50's to be jabbed by end of March as UK rollout storms ahead
HALF of all adults in the UK could be vaccinated by the end of this week as the jab rollout surges ahead.
Some 24.4 million Brits have already been inoculated – under two million short of half of all over-18s in the country.
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It comes after over 770,000 jabs were given out over the weekend – with 512,108 doled out on Saturday alone.
Supplies are also set to receive a boost this week, with around four million doses to become available.
NHS England has written to vaccine providers to urge them to ensure they have the staff in place to ramp up capacity.
Their letter states: “From the week of March 15 we are now asking systems to plan and support all vaccination centres and local vaccination services to deliver around twice the level of vaccine available in the week of March 1.”
Should Britain continue to average giving out 280,000 doses per day, the government should be able to move on to the under-50s by March 29.
Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy head of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told BBC Breakfast that he is “very optimistic” about the roll-out’s progress.
He hailed the programme as “tremendously successful” adding that people in their 40s will be offered vaccines “before Easter”.
He said: “In primary care, we’re still vaccinating cohort six — all with underlying illness — and some of seven.
“But, throughout the country, we’re going down to cohort nine.”
“Most people over the age of 50 will be vaccinated really within the next few weeks so it is tremendously successful.”
It comes as Boris Johnson sought to calm fears around the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine after a string of European countries – including France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands – banned the jab over blood clot fears.
It followed a small number of reports of people experiencing blood clots in the days and weeks after their vaccination.
The PM last night insisted the vaccine, which has already been given to over 11million Brits, was effective and safe.
Asked if he could tell the public the jab is safe, Mr Johnson answered: "Yes, I can. In the MHRA we have one of the toughest and most experienced regulators in the world.”
In the UK around 11 million people are thought to have had a dose of the AstraZeneca jab.
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases saw a slight rise yesterday following the reopening of schools last Monday.
Infections rose by 5,098 – an eight per cent increase on last week.
The latest figures mean 4,263,527 have now tested positive for coronavirus in Britain since the start of the pandemic, while 125,580 have died.
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