Every adult in the UK could receive both doses of Covid vaccine by August or even 'sooner if needed', say jab taskforce

EVERY adult in the UK could receive both doses of a Covid vaccine by August, or even “sooner if needed,” the head of the vaccine taskforce has said.

Clive Dix, who is in charge of the taskforce which identifies and buys vaccines for the UK government, added he was sure there would not be any problems with supply.

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Dix told Sky News: "We are confident within the vaccine taskforce now that the supply we're going to get will take to us to a position where we can vaccinate as many people as the UK wants to vaccinate."

When pushed if he was confident every adult would get both jabs, he added: "We're probably talking August time or September time all done, maybe sooner if we need to."

Dix said he was confident of the supply because of the “portfolio approach” the government had taken in securing seven different Covid-19 vaccines.

He said: "The ones that are being rolled off the line at the moment, they are doing very well.

"Of course they could have a manufacturing problem, like you do with any manufacture of anything but with vaccines being more complicated, you could have a problem.

"But because we've taken a portfolio approach we've got other vaccines that are going to be approved in the very near future.

"And, once they're approved, we've got those as back up. It's a very low risk we wouldn't have vaccine."

He added the new new vaccines could be approved in just six to eight weeks in the event new variants are discovered.

But warned further time would be needed to manufacture those vaccines in large quantities.

So far, more than 15.5 million Brits have received at least one Covid jab after more than 260,000 were injected yesterday.

It is the fastest roll-out per capita of any large country.

It comes as:

  • Nicola Sturgeon announced Scottish schools will return next week
  • Four people were fined £10k for flouting new hotel quarantine rules
  • 1.7m more people were told to shield & will get a priority Covid jab
  • A new mutant Covid strain from Nigeria was detected in the UK

After hitting its target of vaccinating 15m of the most at-risk Brits over the weekend, the UK is now on target to jab 32m over-50s by the end of April.

Meanwhile, around 26,000 patients are currently in hospital with coronavirus, the lowest level since the New Year.

The number of patients being admitted each day has fallen below 2,000 for the first time since December and the number of patients on ventilation beds is also falling.

The positive figures have lifted hopes ahead of Boris Johnson unveiling his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22.

Dix did sound one note of caution though, saying politicians shouldn’t set overly ambitious targets.

He said: "I think the thing people have to recognise is that if you keep pushing the system too hard, something might break and then you've got a problem.

"I think the rate we're doing at the moment is getting us to the right place and I don't think we should push it too hard.

"We should push it as hard as we can, along with supply.

"If we say to the manufacturers 'double your output to us next week' – they might push their system and it might break.

"So we've got to do it sensibly.”

The UK recorded 10,625 Covid cases and 799 deaths in the last 24 hours, a fall of 24 per cent week-on-week.

Scientists have warned that despite lockdown easing face masks and social distancing are likely to be needed until at least the autumn.

Quarantine hotels, which were launched yesterday, are set to remain until at least March 31.

The new rules require people entering the UK from 33 'red list' countries to isolate in airport hotels at their own expense for at least 10 days.


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