One in three UK adults has received first Covid-19 jab

21 February 2021, 14:05 | Updated: 21 February 2021, 14:25

Health Secretary Matt Hancock takes a selfie with the vaccine hub staff during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Health Secretary Matt Hancock takes a selfie with the vaccine hub staff during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

One in three adults in the UK has received their initial Covid-19 vaccination, the Health Secretary confirmed today.

Matt Hancock said he was "delighted" at the progress off the vaccination programme.

He posted on Twitter: "I'm delighted that 1 in 3 adults have now had their first COVID vaccine.

"We're making great progress in our national effort to protect our country from this virus.

"I want to pay tribute to the team - the NHS, armed forces, councils, volunteers & everyone else involved."

He also said earlier that the Government is confident it has the supplies to meet the target to vaccinate all UK adults by July 31 and to vaccinate all adults over 50, and higher risk groups, by April 15.

READ MORE: All UK adults to be offered Covid vaccine by July 31, Boris Johnson pledges

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Boris Johnson will reveal his road map tomorrow in which he is expected to announce the reopening of schools from March 8.

It will also include plans to allow care home residents to hold hands with a regular indoor visitor from March 8.

An easing of restrictions on outdoor socialising within weeks is also expected to form part of the plans.

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Mr Hancock said the blueprint will provide guidance on summer holidays and the reopening of schools - with pupils in all year groups widely expected to return to the classroom from March 8.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said all children should "ideally" be back in England's schools on that date, rejecting pressure from unions to call for a phased return.

Sir Keir said he hopes Mr Johnson will set out a "cautious, careful" exit from lockdown in the road map but the full return of schools should be the aim.

His stance came after a coalition of unions and professional bodies warned that reopening schools to all pupils in England at the same time would be "reckless" and could risk another spike in Covid-19 infections.

Sir Keir said: "Ideally, I would like to see all schools back open on March 8 and all children back into schools on March 8.

"I have been worried through the pandemic - a number of people have - about the impact that being out of school has on, particularly, vulnerable children and the attainment gap is getting bigger."

He said the Government will have to follow the data and the scientific advice on the issue, "but that's what we should be working towards".