Milestone for NHS as 15m in UK receive first Covid vaccine – BBC News

the uk has hit a major milestone with more than 15 million people given their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in england everyone in the top four priority groups has now been offered a first jab that's the day ahead of the scheduled target the prime minister praised a truly nationwide effort and said that everybody who'd contributed from nhs staff to volunteers should be incredibly proud the success of the vaccination program has led to a growing pressure for a clearer roadmap out of lockdown and a return to some kind of normality including from some of mr johnson's own mps here's our political correspondent jonathan blake lining up in lancashire for the coronavirus vaccine some of those getting their first jab today and taking the total number to be offered an injection to 15 million across the uk this country has achieved an extraordinary feat in a video posted online the prime minister confirmed the government had met its target of offering the four most vulnerable groups in england their first jab by mid-february it has been a truly national uk wide effort we've done it together and i want to thank each and every person who has helped make it happen you can be incredibly proud of the part you've played with vaccinations in full flow the prime minister's promised a roadmap out of lockdown in england a week tomorrow the 22nd of february the government wants schools to open to all pupils on the 8th of march next more outdoor recreation is likely to be allowed followed by more shops being able to open and finally hospitality my name is libby venues do your vaccination today but with the aim now to offer everyone over 50 their first jab by the end of april some argue all legal restrictions should end by them it's completely tied to the rollout for vaccination program and the fact that you're then protecting the most vulnerable people from death and serious disease from covid from the fantastically successful vaccination program the nhs is undertaking and in the industry's worst affected there's an urgency to start trading soon we think we can open very safely for easter weekend we understand as i said that there would be social restrictions in place like there were in july and we will absolutely administer those to the letter and we will ensure that we've got a responsibility for our customers and our staff some conservative mps are growing increasingly frustrated and want firm commitments from the prime minister about when restrictions will be lifted although boris johnson can't ignore the political pressure from his own party the risks of opening things up too soon seem to be weighing more heavily and for now the watchword in government is caution until the impact of the vaccines becomes clear political opponents will be the first to accuse boris johnson of easing restrictions before coronavirus is contained this lockdown has to be the final lockdown by the way the strategic aim is is to do everything we can now so we don't have to go back into our lockdown while seizing on the success of the vaccination programme so far the prime minister acknowledged there was much more work to do the return to normal is still some way off jonathan blake bbc news so having reached the first major vaccination target how does the rollout proceed from here and who's next in line for the jab our science correspondent rebecca morrell reports from margaret keenan in december the first person to be vaccinated to less than 10 weeks later 15 million people have had their first dose so who will be vaccinated next and when the next stage starts with 65 to 69 year olds that's nearly 3 million people and those with underlying health conditions an estimated 7 million next up it's 2 million 60 to 64 year olds then the 5 million 50 to 59 year olds that's a total of more than 17 million people who'll be offered vaccines by the end of april then for phase 2 another 21 million people the rest of the adult population should be vaccinated by the autumn more than a million over 65s have already been sent letters this weekend and some areas have even started delivering jabs it's an indication of the different demographics of different parts of the country obviously certain populations will have much higher proportions of those people who are over 70 or who are housebound and that will take longer in my practice in north london we are vaccinating already those people over 60 and 65.

People with some medical conditions are also being invited these include chronic lung disease down syndrome diabetes some cancers and morbid obesity so how will we know if vaccination is working the best place to look is israel which has inoculated more of its population than anywhere else in the world and hospitalizations of those who were vaccinated first the over 60s are falling much faster than other groups so when could we see an impact in the uk in about a week's time we may well see beginnings of an effect in hospitalizations particularly in older people relative to changes in younger people it'll be cases it's going to be a little bit less clear i think because vaccine doesn't necessarily stop mild cases in the coming weeks could there be any problems there will be some bumps in supply with pfizer overhauling its factory in belgium new variants could also pose a problem and booster shots might be needed to improve immunity levels in the uk are still high but vaccinations should soon make a difference helping us map a path out of lockdown rebecca morell bbc news

Add Comment