MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Every adult in Britain should get a first COVID-19 vaccination by the end of July, instead of the previous target of September, the British government said Sunday. It also said everyone aged 50 years and older and people with underlying health conditions should get the first of their two shots by April 15, instead of the previous goal of May 1, CBS News reported.
The early success of Britain’s vaccination effort is welcome news for a country that has had more than 120,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest toll in Europe. More than 17.5 million people, a third of U.K. adults, have had at least one vaccine shot since inoculations began on Dec. 8, CBS News reported.
Britain is delaying giving second doses until 12 weeks after the first, rather than three to four weeks, to give more people partial protection quickly. The approach has been criticized in some countries — and by Pfizer, which says it does not have any data to support the interval — but it is backed by the U.K. government’s scientific advisers. The announcements were made as the government prepares a “cautious” reopening plan that will be outlined in Parliament on Monday.
As of March 8, many children will return to school and nursing home residents will be able to have one visitor. However, it is unlikely that nonessential shopping and outdoor socializing will be given the green light before April, CBS News reported.
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