Matt Hancock hosted the Downing Street briefing today (February 26) and issued an update about the COVID-19 vaccine drive.
The official announcement came after the government released the latest vaccine priority list.
As a result, it appears the government aims to offer everyone their first vaccine by the end of July.
So when will you get yours? Read on to find out!
What did Matt Hancock say about the vaccine today?
The Health Secretary fronted the briefing from Downing Street today.
He said: “While the vaccination programme is rolling out at the pace of one of the fastest in the world, we’re not there yet.
“I’m delighted to be able to tell you that 19 million people have had the vaccine, that’s 35% if people in the UK.”
Hancock added: “That is 19 million people who are starting to get the protection that we know comes from these jabs.
“The programme is expanding all the time.”
He continued: “Today’s data shows 94% of adults saying they’ve either received the jab or intend to.”
The Health Secretary also gave a “shout out” to various medical professionals who have excelled when it comes to taking part in the vaccination programme.
He continued: “The more people who are protected, the safer we will all be.”
So when can I expect to get my vaccine?
Hancock then revealed who would be having the jab next.
“Our current target is to get a first dose offered to everybody in the top nine priority groups by the middle of April.
This isn’t over yet. The stay at home rules are in place for a reason. We’re nearly there. Let’s not blow it.
“The JCVI’s advice is that in order to save the most lives, we should take an age-based approach and invite people to come forward in three further stages.”
It’s hoped that everyone in the top nine priority groups will have had their first jab by mid-April.
This will then extend to vaccinating all adults over 18 before July.
All four nations that make up the United Kingdom will follow the advice issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
However, there has been some outcry over the fact that people will be prioritised by age and not profession.
It comes after calls to offer the jab to police officers and teachers ahead of the over-40s.
So how will stage two of the rollout happen?
There will be three priority groups in the next stage of the rollout.
All those aged between 40 and 49 will be offered the vaccine from mid-April.
Next, those aged between 30 and 39 will be given the vaccine.
Lastly, all those aged between 18 and 29 will be given the jab.
It’s hoped everyone in the UK over 18 will have had their first dose by July.
Hitting back at claims to prioritise the other-40s, the JCVI said the move would “provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 chair for the JCVI, said: “Vaccinations stop people from dying.
“The current strategy is to prioritise those who are more likely to have severe outcomes and die from COVID-19.
“The evidence is clear that the risk of hospitalisation and death increases with age.
“The vaccination programme is a huge success and continuing the age-based roll-out will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”
Matt Hancock issues warning with his update today
However, despite the good news, the Health Secretary did issue a warning.
“This isn’t over yet. The stay at home rules are in place for a reason.
“Every time you put your mask on or stay at home you are playing your part.
“We will get through this but we must stick at it,” he said.
“We’re nearly there, let’s not blow it.”
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