‘FREEDOM Day’ on June 21 could be delayed to July 5 in an effort to make sure all those aged over 50 receive a second vaccine.
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‘Freedom Day’ on June 21 could be delayed to July 5 in an effort to make sure all those aged over 50 receive a second vaccineCredit: Reuters
A woman receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in London
Matt Hancock said it was ‘too early’ to determine whether the Government would lift all coronavirus restrictions on June 21
Correspondent Richard Pallot said: “Government sources have again stressed that no decision has been made but I understand that in private other plans are being drawn up.
“If there was a two-week delay then in theory all over 50s would get a chance of a second vaccine.”
More than 40 million Brits have now had a first jab but the Indian variant is surging.
Ex-PM Tony Blair yesterday called for double-jabbed adults to get freedom to travel, saying it “makes no sense” to treat them the same as those who haven’t been vaccinated.
His Institute for Global Change is proposing a health pass system for home and abroad, saying: “It is vital to have an alternative to the blunt tool of lockdowns.”
It comes after hundreds of students were turned away from a Covid vaccination centre after doses ran out.
The jabs ran out after just two hours meaning the planned four hour blitz at University College London’s walk-in clinic in Camden had to be brought to a halt.
Some students camped out from 5am hours to get a first Covid vaccine so they can go out partying in nightclubs when lockdown lifts.
There were also queues at Belmont Health Centre in in Harrow, North West London, which was is handing out Pfizer jabs to walk-ins.
It comes as:
Boris Johnson will examine the Covid stats this week to decide over lifting restrictions on June 21, Matt Hancock has revealed.
The Health Secretary said it was “too early” to determine whether the Government would lift all coronavirus restrictions later this month.
Asked whether he had seen anything in the data that could delay reopening this month, the Cabinet minister told Sky News: “It is too early to make a final decision on that.
“The Prime Minister and I and the team will be looking at all of the data over this week.
“We have said that we will give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date which is pencilled in as the next step – which is to be not before June 21 – and the critical thing is to see whether the four tests we have set have been met.
“That’s in terms of the number of cases, and cases are rising slightly, the number of hospitalisations, which are much more flat.
“That’s because the third test, the rollout of the vaccine, is going incredibly well.
“Then, of course, we have to look at the impact of new variants and we have seen a very significant impact of a new variant – the Delta (also known as the Indian) variant – over the last month or so.”
Mr Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the Government is “absolutely open” to delaying 21 June and “the roadmap was set up in order to take these sort of changes into account”
The Health Secretary added that the Indian variant had made the decisions behind the June 21 unlocking “more difficult” as he confirmed the latest advice is that the so-called Delta mutation is 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant.
He said: “That means that it is more difficult to manage this virus with the new Delta variant.
“But crucially, after two doses of vaccine we are confident that you get the same protection that you did with the old variant.
“So the good news is that the vaccine still works just as effectively. “Everybody must go and get their second jab though because the first isn’t as effective on its own.
“So ultimately it does make the calculation more difficult for June 21 but it doesn’t change our strategy which is we all need to go and get vaccinated and that way we will break this link between the number of cases to the number of hospitalisations.”
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