UK Government hits vaccination target as PM praises “precious protection” offered by jabs

All adults over 50, the clinically vulnerable and health and social care workers have now been offered a life-saving Covid-19 jab, as the government prepares to move into the next phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The target was reached ahead of schedule, with the government having pledged to offer a first dose to priority cohorts 1-9 by 15 April.

Nearly 40 million vaccines have now been given in total, with adults under 50 expected to begin to be invited in the coming days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

We have now passed another hugely significant milestone in our vaccine programme by offering jabs to everyone in the nine highest risk groups.

That means more than 32 million people have been given the precious protection vaccines provide against Covid-19.

I want to thank everyone involved in the vaccine rollout which has already saved many thousands of lives.

We will now move forward with completing essential second doses and making progress towards our target of offering all adults a vaccine by the end of July.

The JCVI are expected to publish their final advice on how the government should vaccinate those aged under 50.

This advice will pave the way for the next phase of the vaccination programme, which is expected to begin this week.

NHS organisations in the four nations, in collaboration with devolved administrations, will decide how to operationalise the JCVI advice.

It is thought that people in England in their late 40s will be the first to be invited to book their jabs.

Over 7 million second doses have now been given – with a record 475,230 given on Saturday – and we remain on track to offer a first vaccine to all adults by 31 July.

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