UK speeds up immunisations, all adults by 31 July

Photo: EPA - EFE The Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Royal Free Hospital in London ahead of the coronavirus vaccination programme in London, Britain

The British government will aim to give every adult in the country a first dose of coronavirus vaccine by 31 July - a month earlier than its previous target, AP reported.

The goal is for everyone over 50 or with an underlying health condition to get a shot by April 15, rather than the previous target of May 1.

The makers of the two vaccines Britain is using, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, have both experienced supply problems in Europe. But UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that “we now think that we have the supplies” to speed up the vaccination campaign.

The news comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with senior ministers today to finalise a “road map” out of that national lockdown that is due to be announced on Monday.

Britain has had more than 120,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest toll in Europe.

More than 17.2 million people, however, have been given the first of two doses of vaccine since the UK inoculation campaign began on 8 December.

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