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UK on course for Covid-19 vaccination target as shots reach 200,000 a day: Health minister

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(AFP)

LONDON: Britain is on target to have immunised its most susceptible individuals in opposition to Covid-19 by mid-February and providing a shot to each grownup by autumn, with some 2 million individuals having already obtained a primary dose, its well being secretary mentioned on Sunday.
“Over the past week we have vaccinated extra individuals than within the entirety of December, so we’re accelerating the roll-out,” Matt Hancock informed BBC TV.
Britain is battling surging infections however is pinning its hopes on fast immunisation to allow life to begin returning to a point of normality by the spring.
Hancock mentioned round 2 million individuals had already obtained a primary shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We have now vaccinated round a 3rd of the entire over 80s, so (we’re making) very, superb progress,” he mentioned.
For the federal government to fulfill its objective of vaccinating greater than 14 million individuals by mid-February, comprising the over-70s, the clinically susceptible – the aged or with pre-existing situations – and well being and social-care employees, it must ship 2 million pictures per week.
The present fee is round 200,000 a day, Hancock mentioned.
Seven mass vaccination centres will open this week, supplementing nearly 1,000 medical doctors surgical procedures and hospitals providing pictures. Hancock mentioned each grownup can be supplied a vaccine by the autumn.
Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip, each of their nineties, have obtained vaccinations, Buckingham Palace mentioned on Saturday.
Surging circumstances
A extremely transmissible new variant of the virus is surging round Britain and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has imposed a 3rd nationwide lockdown in England to attempt to stem the pandemic earlier than essentially the most susceptible are immunised. Wales, Scotland and Northern Eire have imposed comparable measures.
Greater than 80,000 individuals in Britain have died inside 28 days of receiving a constructive COVID-19 take a look at, the fifth highest official loss of life toll globally, and over 3 million individuals have examined constructive.
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty mentioned on Sunday the nationwide well being service in components of the nation was dealing with “essentially the most tough state of affairs anybody may bear in mind”.
Hancock didn’t rule out a more durable lockdown, saying he would “not speculate” on additional restrictions, though he added that the “overwhelming majority” of individuals had been complying with present guidelines.

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