Brits under 30 will get their Covid jabs this WEEK, Matt Hancock confirms as race towards June 21 continues
BRITS under 30 will get their Covid jabs this week, Matt Hancock has confirmed.
Matt Hancock said that vaccines had "severed but not broken" the link between a rise in cases and an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital.
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"The majority of people going into hospital right now are unvaccinated," the senior Government minister told Sky News.
"This week we will be opening up vaccines to the under-30s and so we are getting a step closer to the point when we have been able to offer the vaccine to all adults in this country.
"Then, once we have got everybody having had their second dose, then you will get this protection that we are seeing at the moment among older people, you'll get that protection throughout the whole adult population."
Vaccinating children over the age of 12 could have "upsides" for education, Mr Hancock said.
"I'm delighted the regulator, having looked very carefully at the data and with their typical rigour and independence, has come forward and said that the jab is safe and effective for those who are over the age of 12," he said.
"So, we're only talking about children over the age of 12 here and we're taking advice currently from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation, the experts in this, on the right approach to putting this into practise.
"Now, of course, for the time being, as of today we are vaccinating people aged 30 and over, next week we'll move to opening up vaccinations to the under-30s who are adults, so we have a few weeks yet until we come out with a plan for exactly how and if we take this forward.
"We know that the vaccine both protects you and helps you stop transmitting, and I want to protect education as much as anybody does… and so making sure that we don't have those whole bubbles having to go home, especially as we saw over the autumn for instance, that has upsides for education."
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.
And keen over-18s who live in the area and are still waiting for a first vaccine have been lining the streets to get protected.
Pictures show the teens forming a huge queue around the health centre – including through the car park and along the street.
UCL is the first uni to advertise a walk-in vaccine and it’s hoped this will become a more regular means of administering jabs to young people.
The clinic, run by NHS Camden, had organised the event as a walk-in vaccination session for students who were not registered with a GP.
Mr Hancock also revealed that Boris Johnson will examine the Covid stats this week to decide over lifting restrictions on June 21.
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 said 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% more transmissible than the Kent variant.
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