COVID-19: Vaccines minister ‘confident’ everyone over 50 will be offered coronavirus jab by May | Politics News

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The vaccines minister has advised Sky News he’s “assured” the UK will hit its “powerful goal” of providing all people over 50 a coronavirus jab by May.

Talking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Nadhim Zahawi mentioned that at one level on Saturday, the UK was administering COVID-19 jabs at a charge of virtually 1,000 per minute.

“The limiting issue is vaccine provide so the vaccine provide stays finite,” he mentioned.

“I can inform you that yesterday between 11 and 12 o’clock we nearly obtained to 1,000 jabs a minute, we obtained to 979 jabs a minute.”

Newest figures present greater than 11.4 million individuals within the UK have obtained the primary dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The tempo of the vaccine rollout signifies the UK is on observe to satisfy its goal of providing a jab to everyone within the prime 4 precedence teams – round 15 million individuals – by the center of this month.

It was revealed this week that the federal government desires to supply a vaccine to these aged over 50 and people aged 16 to 65 who’ve sure well being situations by the tip of April.

Requested about these targets, Mr Zahawi mentioned: “I am assured we’ll meet our mid-February goal of the highest 4 cohorts, I am additionally assured, as a result of I’ve sufficient line of sight of deliveries which might be coming by, that we will additionally meet the one to 9 cohorts by May.

“It is a powerful goal by the way in which, many many people who find themselves clinically extraordinarily susceptible need to be reached by GPs, some cannot journey.”

The vaccines minister added that the UK was starting to retailer second doses, in preparation to supply each first and second inoculations subsequent month.

Mr Zahawi additionally mentioned that the UK was not introducing vaccine passports, describing such a transfer as “discriminatory”.

He continued: “I feel the precise factor to do is ensure that individuals come ahead and be vaccinated as a result of they wish to slightly than it being made not directly necessary by a passport.”

Mr Zahawi added that if, in some unspecified time in the future sooner or later, different international locations required individuals to supply proof that they’ve obtained a jab, individuals might ask their GP to offer them proof.

“If different international locations require some type of proof then you’ll be able to ask your GP – your GP will maintain the report – and that will then be in a position to be used as your proof that you have had the vaccine,” he mentioned.

“We’re not planning to have a passport within the UK.”

He wouldn’t be drawn on how lengthy lockdown restrictions might final for, solely saying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a roadmap for the easing of measures on 22 February.

Mr Zahawi mentioned the hope was that colleges can start reopening from 8 March, with the UK “step by step reopening the entire of our economic system” after that.

He added: “We’ve got to be conscious we wish to make it based mostly on the proof of the vaccine efficacy and the influence on transmission, hospitalisation and loss of life. It is a race in opposition to loss of life.”