Matt Hancock: ‘Vaccine take-up higher than Government predicted’

GMB: Matt Hancock sets April goal on vaccine rollout

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The Health Secretary said that in the 75 to 79 age group, the take-up has been more than 97 percent. Vaccinating all over-50s – another 17 million people – by the end of April is the next big target in the rollout. Coupled with the administration of 15 million second doses, a tough few weeks lies ahead for jab teams.

The vaccine programme is currently being expanded to the over-65s and younger people in at-risk categories.

Mr Hancock said: “It’s a real success, the team have absolutely blown it out of the park.

“There is no rest for the wicked and we are straight on to the  next groups.

“So the letters have already been sent to over a million over-65s asking them to come forward, and also the next group after that is those who have underlying health conditions and are carers. 

“There is a huge programme under way rolling out to invite the next group of people to be vaccinated.

“At the same time, from next month we have the second jabs of all the people who have come since January to make sure they happen on time.

“So there is still a huge amount of work to do but we have managed to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable.”

But Mr Hancock said there is “some way to go” before the lockdown is eased.

He stressed ministers are awaiting key data on how successfully vaccines reduce transmission.

He added: “Having a sustainable exit – lifting the measures in such a way that we don’t have to have another lockdown – is an important part of our considerations.”

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