England invites all adults to get vaccine

Alistair SmoutAAP
Britain has given a first dose of a vaccine to more than 42m people, almost 80 per cent of adults.
Camera IconBritain has given a first dose of a vaccine to more than 42m people, almost 80 per cent of adults. Credit: AP

The health service in England will open up COVID-19 vaccinations to everyone over 18, a big step towards the government's target of giving every adult who wants a vaccine a first shot in the next month.

The move will take place from Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday pushed back the full re-opening of England from lockdown until July 19 because of a rise in cases, but also accelerated his vaccination plans, pledging to give every adult a first dose by the same date.

"Offering all adults a jab less than 200 days after the program launched is one of our country's greatest collective achievements, saving over 14,000 lives so far," he said, referring to Public Health England estimates of the impact of the vaccine rollout.

Britain has given a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to more than 42 million people, almost 80 per cent of adults, while well over a half have received both shots.

Health authorities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each run their own vaccination campaigns. Wales and Northern Ireland have already made vaccines available to any adult, while Scotland is offering them to anyone over 30.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are being rolled out across the United Kingdom, although officials have said that people under 40 should be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca's shot after it was linked to rare blood clots.

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