200,000 people getting Covid vaccine every day and EVERY adult will get it by autumn, Hancock says
EVERY adult is on course to get the Covid vaccine by autumn with 200,000 Brits already getting jabbed each day, Matt Hancock said today.
The Health Secretary unveiled the UK's "exit strategy" out of the pandemic and revealed 350million doses of the vaccine are on order.
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And he said he hopes every adult will have received the jab by autumn this year as part of the biggest vaccination programme ever.
Mr Hancock told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "We are going to have enough to offer the vaccine to everyone aged over 18 by autumn."
But the MP explained this will have to be carried out "according to need" with the most vulnerable offered the vaccine first.
He also revealed the UK has vaccinated around 2million people over the past week – more people than it did in the entirety of December.
This puts the government on course to reach its target of 13million people vaccinated by mid-February, he explained.
He told Sky News' Sophy Ridge: "Yes we're on course. The rate limiting factor at the moment is supply but that's increasing.
"I'm very glad to say that at the moment we're running at over 200,000 people being vaccinated every day.
"We've now vaccinated around one third of the over-80s in this country so we're making significant progress but there's still further expansion to go.
"This week we're opening mass vaccination centres. Big sites for instance at Epsom racecourse, there's seven going live this week with more to come next week where we will get through very large numbers of people."
Mr Hancock also revealed the country is likely to see a joint vaccination programme in place for the "foreseeable" future.
"I think it's highly likely that there will be a dual-vaccination programme for the foreseeable – this is the medium-term – of flu and Covid," he added.
But despite the glimmer of hope, Mr Hancock urged people to still stay home if they can as "every flexibility" of the rules could prove fatal.
And he refused to speculate on whether the lockdown rules could be strengthened amid claims from scientists they are "too lax" in stopping the spread.
Asked about the prospect of tighter restrictions, he told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "I don't want to speculate because the most important message is not whether the Government will further strengthen the rules.
"The most important thing is that people stay at home and follow the rules that we have got.
"And that, in terms of the scale of the impact on the cases, that is the most important thing we can do collectively as a society."
It comes as Boris Johnson vowed to vaccinate at least 200,000 Brits a day by next week — with the Army joining his Covid war.
The PM said that by next Friday, January 15, the rollout of the vaccine would be hugely ramped up,
A new national booking service for people to be vaccinated will also be unveiled – and no one will have to travel more than ten miles to get one, the PM added.
He said more than 1,400 hospitals, GP practices and pharmacies would be immunising patients by the end of next week.
And he insisted he had "no doubt" that there would be enough supply to offer everyone in the top four vulnerable groups a vaccine by his February 15 deadline.
He added: "We are in a race against time, but I can assure you we are doing everything we can to vaccinate as many people as we can across the whole of the UK."
From tomorrow, the government will begin publishing daily vaccination statistics as well as Boris' full battle plan.
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