BORIS Johnson has received his first dose of the AstraZeneca jab and said: “I didn’t feel a thing”.
The PM was given his first shot at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London – as European nations scrambled to undo their damaging blockade of it.
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Boris Johnson is pictured receiving his first dose of the Astrazeneca jab at St. Thomas’ Hospital
The PM gave a thumbs up and told reporters he ‘didn’t feel a thing’Credit: AP
The PM holds up a sticker confirming he has had his jabCredit: Universal News & Sport
Mr Johnson said the appointment was ‘very good and very quick’ as he urged Brits to come forward and get the jabCredit: AP
The PM returned to St Thomas’ Hospital, where he was treated for the virus in intensive care last year, for his appointment at 6.30pm this evening.
Speaking to reporters outside the hospital, he said: “I did not feel a thing. It was very good and very quick.
“I cannot recommend it more highly. When you get your notification please go and get your jab.
Reassuring Brits that the Astrazeneca jab was safe, he added: “Don’t just listen to me, listen to what all the scientists and the European Medicines Agency have to say.”
He was joined by France’s prime minister Jean Castex and Slovenia’s leader Janez Jansa, who both received the AstraZeneca vaccine today to try and rebuild confidence in it on the continent.
The PM earlier insisted there was no reason to worry about scare stories from the EU and told Brits: “The Oxford jab is safe and the Pfizer jab is safe.
“The thing that isn’t safe is catching Covid, which is why it’s so important that we all get our jabs as soon as our turn comes.
“Get that jab when your turn comes. Let’s get the jab done.”
It comes as:
It came as the NHS broke a new Covid vaccine record with more than 660,000 jabs doled out in a single day.
A total of 660,276 doses were administered nationwide on Thursday, latest government figures revealed tonight.
That includes 528,260 first jabs and 132,016 second doses.
French PM Jean Castex also received his first dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine earlierCredit: AFP
Boris Johnson speaks to other Brits waiting to get their jab at St. Thomas HospitalCredit: PA
The PM elbow bumped a member of the public waiting to receive their jabCredit: PA
The UK’s vaccine rollout continues to go from strength to strength, with all over 50s now being told to book their jabs online.
Over 26 million Brits have now received their first jab, while over 2 million have been given their second dose.
By the weekend, one in two in this country are expected to have been protected against the virus as the immunisation blitz ramps up.
The PM pressed ahead and got his AZ jab even though a delay to a key shipment from India is set to hit UK vaccine supplies next month.
No 10 are holding secret talks with New Delhi to try and get the deliveries of AstraZeneca back on track.
The Indian government is said to have blocked five million jabs that were set to vaccinate Britain’s under-50s – but intergovernmental talks are now “underway” to resolve the issue.
A Whitehall source said there was a “constructive dialogue underway to work through issues” with counterparts in New Delhi.
Boris has insisted the supply hiccough won’t affect his roadmap for freeing the UK from lockdown restrictions by June 21.
In contrast to Britain’s success, European nations were today scrambling to undo the damage to their own snail-paced jabs rollouts by the temporary block on the AZ jab.
France resumed use of the vaccine today with Prime Minister Jean Castex, himself aged 55, having the jab hours live on television in a bid to bolster public confidence.
But France’s ambassador to the UK got the AstraZeneca vaccine on the NHS while the jab was still BANNED by her own nation.
Catherine Colonna took to Twitter this morning to boast about receiving the safe vaccine as Paris lifted the jab’s pointless suspension after a ruling by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Slovenia have all announced they’ll immediately begin using the shot again.
Ireland is set to follow that decision while Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Bulgaria are yet to make their decisions.
It comes after the European Medicines Agency gave the jab the green light across Europe, after 20 states across the continent paused its rollout over blood clot fears.
Emer Cooke, executive director of the EMA, said their “clear scientific conclusion” is that the vaccine is “safe and effective”.
She said: “Its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19, with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation, outweigh the possible risks.
“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events, or blood clots.”
The World Health Organisation also recommended countries keep using the AstraZeneca jab.
A statement said: “At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue.”
British ministers have have stressed the jab is safe and there’s no extra risk of blood clots as a result.
Scientists have even pointed out there’s a higher risk of developing one from catching Covid itself.