Vaccine rollout in UK to be stepped up in a bid to save the June 21 lockdown lifted as ‘over 25 to give a jab next week’
The OVER-25s could be offered a Covid vaccine as early as next week, it is claimed.
The government is reportedly stepping up the deployment of the jab in a battle to save June 21 ‘freedom day’ in the UK.
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Britons over 40 should receive their second dose within eight weeks of the first, rather than the 12 initially recommended, The telegraph reports.
And millions of people aged 25 to 29 will also be called upon to make an appointment to receive their first vaccine from next week.
Ministers hope that accelerating the program will help fight the rapid spread of Covid variants and increase the chances of the lockdown being lifted later this month.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said today the government is doing “everything possible” to make this happen.
“We still have 10 days to make this decision on or around June 14, so during that time we’ll see where we are with hospitalizations, deaths, where we are with the vaccine rollout – we ‘ We are doing everything we can to expedite this – and at that point we will make our final decision, ”he said.
The gap between doses for those over 50 was reduced from 12 weeks to eight last month due to fears of Indian variants.
Scientists initially said a three-month gap was optimal for generating more antibodies overall.
It comes as:
A formal decision on the entry into force of this provision for people in quarantine will be taken shortly by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI).
A government source told The Telegraph that ministers “want to double the dose as soon as possible” by applying the reduced time between injections to more people.
The source confirmed that the gap is expected to be narrowed for those over 40 this month and that the first jabs are expected to be offered to those over 25 next week.
So far, half of all UK adults have had two injections of Covid, with a whopping 66,749,638 doses given since December.
But despite the acceleration of the vaccine rollout, there is a secret plan to delay the lifting of all lockdown restrictions by two weeks.
Ministers and officials are working on contingency plans to move “Freedom Day” to next month, as well as to maintain the distance and limits placed on football fans in stadiums.
Pub giants and football fans have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stand firm on his pledge to lift the lockdown on June 21.
Their war cry came amid fears that any delay could plunge England’s welcome of the Euro into chaos.
1966 World Cup winner George Cohen, 81, said: “Boris has to stick to June 21. Our boys need these English fans in the pubs and in the stadiums.
“It gave us such a boost in 1966 and it will still give them a huge boost. What’s the point of the home advantage if our fans can’t roar at us until the final? “
And UK Hospitality’s Kate Nicholls has warned that even a two-week delay in ending the lockdown will cost the industry £ 1.5bn.
Proponents of a delay argue it would allow more Britons to get at least their first jab.
Ministers and doctors would also have more time to study the data, with infections rising worryingly to March levels.
Figures released today show 11 new deaths and 6,238 recorded cases, up from ten deaths and 4,182 cases a week ago.
And it was also revealed today that the Indian variant – officially named Delta – is now the dominant strain in the UK and doubles the risk of hospitalization.
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A total of 12,431 cases of The Indian variant was confirmed in the UK until June 2, up 79% from the previous week (6,959).
The ministers also expressed new concerns about the “Nepal variant” – a mutation of the Delta variant that could escape vaccines.
The Prime Minister is holding firm on June 21, but ministers fear that it is too early to prove “definitively” that the jab has severed the link between cases and hospitalizations.