Status: 02/21/2021 3:09 p.m.
Britain is accelerating its vaccination program. Every adult should be able to get a corona vaccination by the end of July. According to Health Minister Hancock, hospital data shows that transmission is decreasing with the South African variant of the virus.
In the UK, all adults should be able to receive their first dose of vaccine against the coronavirus by the end of July. All over 50-year-olds and those with previous illnesses should be offered a first vaccination by mid-April, according to the British government. This accelerates the schedule again: So far, the vaccination targets for all over 50-year-olds by May and all adults by September.
“That will help us to protect those most at risk faster and to be able to relax restrictions,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. To date, more than 17 million people in the UK have had a first vaccination – one in three adults. But despite the comparatively high number of vaccinations, the British government only wants to gradually relax the existing restrictions. Johnson said the path out of lockdown should be “cautious and phased”.
Careful easing in the country
The Prime Minister wants to announce his plans for the first easing on Monday. In the future, some private meetings outside and individual visits to nursing homes should be possible again. Returning children to schools is also a top priority for the government. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended the government’s cautious approach on Sky News. The re are still almost 20,000 Covid-19 patients in the hospital, he said.
It is also discussed whether children should be vaccinated to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Clinical tests were currently in progress “to know if children should be vaccinated,” Hancock said. A government science adviser, John Edmunds, told the BBC that unless the whole population, including children, is vaccinated, there is a significant risk of the virus recurring.
Fight against virus variants
Hancock was also confident that the country would also get the outbreaks of the South African and Brazilian virus variants under control. He said the UK had registered around 300 cases of the more contagious South African mutant. However, most of these cases are over a month old, Hancock told the BBC. “ The latest data shows that there are only around a dozen new ones,” said Hancock. “So a much, much smaller number.” The UK vaccination program has reduced virus transmissions and eased pressure on hospitals, Hancock said.
The re are also indications that “the measures we are taking, both improved contact tracing and stricter measures at the border, work,” Hancock told Sky News. At the same time, he warned: “If one of these new variants does not respond as well to the vaccine as the others, then it is a very serious risk to the vaccination program.”
Great Britain uses the vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The infection situation had improved significantly in the past few weeks, the curve of registered new infections is falling continuously. Most recently, the country counted 126 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days.
The seven-day incidence was thus more than twice as high as in Germany. With more than 120,000 deaths, Great Britain is one of the countries hardest hit by the corona pandemic in the world.