Every UK adult could be offered both Covid vaccine doses by August, claims taskforce boss

16 February 2021, 21:20

The UK could vaccinate all adults with two Covid-19 doses by August, according to the taskforce boss
The UK could vaccinate all adults with two Covid-19 doses by August, according to the taskforce boss. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Every adult in the UK could be offered both Covid-19 vaccine doses by August or September, the head of the UK's vaccine taskforce has said.

Clive Dix claims it could be done "even sooner" if the Government wanted to, saying he was "confident" that the country's supply of vaccine doses would remain stable.

"I can say at the moment that we're very confident that the manufacturers are doing a brilliant job," he told Sky News, "they are delivering vaccine at the rate we require and we will be able to vaccinate our population at the rate we require."

Read more: More community and faith leaders must tackle Covid-19 disinformation, doctor says

Asked if supply would remain steady in the coming months, Mr Dix claimed the Vaccine Taskforce was confident the NHS could protect "as many people as the UK wants to vaccinate" against Covid-19 by the end of this year.

"We're probably talking August time or September time all done," he added, "maybe sooner if we need to."

So far, over 15 million people have had a coronavirus vaccine, with the UK government saying everyone in the top four priority groups has now been offered a first dose.

Read more: Covid jabs 'reducing deaths, hospital admissions and transmission', early data shows

The next target is for all remaining five priority groups to be offered a vaccine by the end of April, then all remaining adults in the UK reached by autumn.

LBC analysis shows the Government is on course to offer a first dose to everyone in the first nine priority groups by March 30 after it hit its target of the first four groups by February 15.

But concerns have been raised over vaccine hesitancy, where conspiracy theories, historic mistrust and cultural differences have lead to many declining the offer of a jab.

A leading doctor told LBC on Monday that more community and faith leaders are needed to tackle disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Dr Habib Naqvi, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory which aims to identify and tackle ethnic health inequalities, said there is a need for “resourced, tailored communications”.

Read more: Country battling 'dual epidemic of coronavirus and disinformation'

NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens added his voice to concerns, claiming the UK was battling a "dual epidemic of coronavirus and disinformation".

But he said progress is being made on the issue of uptake among black and Southeast Asian communities, and he believes the involvement of local religious leaders will help build momentum in groups with concerns.