UK Eyes Vaccination of All Adults by End-July
The United Kingdom (UK) was looking to vaccinate all adults over the next five months, earlier than its previous target, according to a report.
It was also aiming to immunize everyone beyond the age of 50 and those with an underlying health condition by April 15 rather than May 1, Euronews said.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was quoted as saying that the UK should have the supplies it needed to speed up its vaccination campaign, despite vaccine manufacturers experiencing production problems.
It can be learned that pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca were reportedly experiencing supply challenges in Europe that the latter announced it was no longer accepting orders.
It also put AstraZeneca in a public row with the European Union last month after the former announced there would be a 60-percent shortfall in supplies this quarter due to manufacturing problems.
The European Commission had asked Belgian authorities to look into a pharmaceutical company to find out whether delays are indeed due to production issues as the company had claimed.
So far, the UK is one of the countries with a handful supply of vaccines, while the EU has been slow to roll out its program.
More than 17.2 million Britons or almost a third of the country’s adults have so far been given the first of two doses since vaccinations began on December 8.
The UK, however, was delaying the rollout of the second dose of jabs until 12 weeks after the first in order to give as many people partial protection as possible.
The approach has been criticized by Pfizer as well as other nations, but British scientific advisors were said to have backed the move.
The UK has the worst death toll and has spent much of winter in a strict lockdown despite its roadmap to exit lockdown. However, it said it was still cautious over the 20,000 coronavirus patients being treated at hospitals.
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