COVID-19: UK to Vaccinate all adults by July 31

The British government has announced plans to vaccinate every adult in the country with a first coronavirus vaccine shot by July 31, at least a month earlier than its previous target.

This comes on the heels of the government announcement of a “cautious” plan to ease the UK’s lockdown.

The previous aim was for all adults to get a jab by September. The new target also calls for everyone 50 and over and those with an underlying health condition to get their first of two vaccine shots by April 15, rather than the previous date of May 1.

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

News of the new vaccine targets came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson met yesterday with senior ministers to finalise a “road map” out of the national lockdown. He plans to announce details in Parliament today.

Faced with a dominant virus variant that scientists said is both more transmissible and more deadly than the original virus, Britain has spent much of the winter under a tight lockdown. Bars, restaurants, gyms, schools, hair salons and all nonessential shops have been closed; grocery stories, pharmacies and takeout food venues are still open.

The government has stressed that economic and social reopening will be slow and cautious, with nonessential shopping or outdoor socialising unlikely before April. Many children will go back to school beginning on March 8 and nursing home residents will be able to have one visitor from the same date.

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