How long before the vaccine rollout is finished? Freedom day hopes exposed

John Swinney warns there are ‘still dangers’ despite vaccine

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The UK’s Covid vaccine programme is amongst the world’s most successful, with more than 65 million adults covered by at least one dose. Few other programmes have achieved similar success, save for Israel and the US. However, people can’t consign Covid to the history books until enough the population has full coverage and the finish line is now in sight.

How long before vaccine rollout is finished?

Vaccine rollout has, so far, covered 65,211,877 people in total.

Of those, 39,477,158 have had their first dose, and 25,734,719 their follow-up.

These numbers currently count those aged 30 and over, with healthy youngsters yet to receive their first dose yet.

Officials believe this will soon change, however, as sources say ministers want to open up the programme to all adult age groups, meaning 18 and above.

The programme could open in a matter of weeks, on or before the June 21 “freedom day”.

The existing target is to have everyone in this bracket equipped with their first dose by June 31.

Wales has already started vaccinating all adults, while England and Scotland lag slightly behind.

Scientists have urged English authorities to speed up their current progress, fearing new infections.

The Delta variant, which scientists first sequenced in India, has started blossoming in the UK.

And Matt Hancock has revealed it is currently the dominant strain.

Speaking last week, he said: “As many as three-quarters of all new cases are now of this variant.”

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Health experts have noted case concentrations of the variant, also known as B.1.1.7, run high in teenagers.

Dominic Harrison, public health director for Delta hotspot Blackburn with Darwen, warned of an “exceptionally high rate” in 17 and 18-year-olds.

He has led calls for ministers to extend the programme’s license to the country’s younger population.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four’s World at One, he said England should follow examples set by other countries.

He added the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) must pass the jab as safe and effective for younger people.

Mr Harrison said: “We desperately need the UK Government, the MHRA to pass the Pfizer vaccine as safe and effective for that age group.

“Now the USA, Canada, Singapore and the European Union have all in the last week said that’s Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective for 12 years and above.

“And I just hope the UK Government can get on with passing that.”

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