ILLEGAL migrants are to be given an amnesty to encourage them to come forward to get the Covid vaccine, it has been reported.
The estimated 1.2 million with ‘irregular status’ will be guaranteed they will not be penalised including those who entered secretly, such as on a boat or in the back of a lorry.
People queueing to be vaccinated in BrightonCredit: Rex Features
Already, some 11.5m have been given at least one of two jabs, with the government aiming to have around 14 million of the most vulnerable vaccinated by February 15.
In a bid to encourage uptake of the vaccine, the Home Office will take no action if illegal migrants register with a GP to be inoculated.
“Coronavirus vaccines will be offered to everyone living in the UK free of charge, regardless of immigration status,’ a Government spokesman said.
“Those registered with a GP are being contacted at the earliest opportunity and we are working closely with partners and external organisations to contact those who are not registered with a GP to ensure they are also offered the vaccine.”
Illegal migrants will not be able to jump the queue for vaccines or use the scheme as a way to acquire other rights, officials say, the Daily Mail reports.
“The moral in this is that everyone needs to get the jab, for everyone’s safety,” a Whitehall source said.
It’s not known how many illegal migrants there are in the UK but Pew Research Center estimated in 2019 there were up to 1.2 million.
Ministers have boasted that all over 50s – and half of the UK population – will have been vaccinated by the end of April.
Thirty-two million jabs for the over 50s and the vulnerable had been promised by “by May”.
A top expert has hailed “brave” Britain for its pioneering vaccine work – as medics say delaying the second Covid vaccine results in stronger protection.
World Health Organisation special envoy Dr David Nabarro called the result a “great lesson for the rest of the world” – and thanked scientists at the forefront of the fight back against coronavirus.
One jab of the Oxford vaccine gives 76 per cent protection after three months – and appears to cut transmission.
Meanwhile, a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine gives 90 per cent Covid protection after 21 days.