BRITAIN is poised for a great unlocking in May thanks to its world-leading vaccination programme.
And the country is also on course to smash its target and give all adults both doses by August 14, analysis suggests.
Britain is on course to smash its vaccine target and give all adults both doses by August 14Credit: Simon Jones – The Sun
Scientists said the UK could achieve herd immunity against Covid by JulyCredit: Simon Jones – The Sun
Meanwhile, scientists said the UK could achieve herd immunity against Covid by July — stopping the disease in its tracks.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said Britain will be able to massively ease restrictions once all over-50s have been offered the jab by late spring.
But senior Tory MPs yesterday urged PM Boris Johnson to lift all restrictions by May.
Mark Harper — chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of lockdown sceptics, with 70 Tory MPs — said: “Back-of-the-envelope calculations I did based on two million doses a week mean you could get the top nine priority groups, first doses, and the top four groups, second doses, all done by the end of May.
“So it seems to me by the time you get to the end of May, no later than that, you should be in a position to get rid of restrictions completely.
“But obviously it does depend on the rollout of the vaccine.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said Britain will be able to massively ease restrictions once all over-50s have been offered the jabCredit: AFP
Another member told The Sun the group backed Mr Harper’s call for restrictions to be totally torn up in May if over-50s have been immunised by then.
The UK vaccinated another 469,016 people yesterday, meaning nearly 10.5 million Brits have now been immunised against the bug.
Deaths have also dropped by a quarter with 915 recorded yesterday and 20,634 daily infections.
Mr Zahawi was “confident” the country will hit its target of offering a jab to all 15 million of the most vulnerable by mid February.
He said that once all over-50s are vaccinated, Britain will be able to tear up many of the draconian restrictions which have turned lives upside down.
He said: “We want to reopen schools, reopen our economy, get our lives back, but never have to go back into another severe lockdown like the one we’re all experiencing and suffering from at the moment.
Deaths have dropped by a quarter with 915 recorded yesterdayCredit: PA:Press Association
“You’ve got to make sure that your vaccination programme has protected the top nine categories in phase one — that is 99 per cent of mortality.” The Government has vowed to do this by “late spring”.
No10 has vowed to offer all adults a vaccine by September.
But there are early signs that the turbocharged vaccination programme is going so well the UK could beat its targets.
And there was hope that with 60 per cent of the country vaccinated, Britain could effectively achieve herd immunity by July.
Experts from University College London say the R rate is already down to 0.75 — the lowest it has been since the first lockdown.
Research by Prof Karl Friston suggests a combination of Covid jabs, natural immunity and better weather will bring an end to the pandemic in the UK.
Prof Friston said that was a “realistic” forecast of the nation’s progress against the bug.
No10 has vowed to offer all adults a vaccine by SeptemberCredit: PA:Press Association
He told The Sun: “It is not concerned with the worst case scenarios — but the most likely case.”
And Prof Andrew Hayward, of the Sage government advisory body, said: “We will be more or less back to normal for the summer.”
Number crunchers at the Elections Map UK blog said all adults are set to receive both doses of the vaccine by August 14, thanks to the lightning quick rollout. They tweeted: “Reasons to be cheerful. Assuming 90% uptake, every UK adult will have received both doses by the 14th August.
“Given that more vaccines should be approved and rolled out before then, that date should only get closer and closer.”
It comes as Public Health England data shows Covid infection and hospitalisation rates have continued to drop nationally.
Health sources refused to say if Britain is on course to beat its vaccination targets and unlock quicker.
But influential Tory MP Sir Graham Brady urged the PM to go quicker in unlocking the country. He said Boris should push to reopen schools this month rather than waiting for March 8. The chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers told Times Radio parents are desperate to send their kids back to class.
He said: “I’m certainly starting to get those emails from constituents, saying, you know, we’re seeing this big improvement, and we’re seeing great success of the vaccines.
Public Health England data shows Covid infection and hospitalisation rates have continued to drop nationallyCredit: PA:Press Association
“And my children are crawling up the walls and are regressing at a critical stage in their young lives.”
Meanwhile, University of East Anglia professor of medicine Paul Hunter said schools should reopen before March 8 and other restrictions should be lifted soon after.
He said: “I think there could well be a case for opening schools sooner — I particularly think schools for children under 11 years of age, where the evidence that they contribute to the spread of the epidemic in the wider population is a lot lower.”
THE EU’s vaccine rollout was branded “s***” by Germany’s vice-chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday.
And his boss Angela Merkel was facing humiliation after admitting she may be forced to beg foe Vladimir Putin for supplies of Russia’s Sputnik V anti-Covid drug.
The EU bungled vaccine deals for its 27 states. Just 2.34 per cent of its population had been jabbed compared to the UK’s 14.21.
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