Britain will have offered 15 million Covid-19 shots by mid-February, minister says

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain will have offered Covid-19 vaccines to those in the top four priority categories – about 15 million people – by the middle of next month, the British minister responsible for vaccination programme said on Monday (Jan 11).

“The vaccinations are really beginning to ramp up, 200,000 a day, we’ve done an incredible job this past week,” minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky News, saying they would offer shots to those in the highest risk levels, the eldest and frontline health workers, by the middle of February.

“So the top four categories actually for the UK is 15 million people, in England, it’s about 12 million people, so we would have offered a vaccination to all those people to make sure that we can protect them.”

Britain is also concerned about the spread of Covid-19 in supermarkets and particularly people breaching rules by not wearing masks while shopping, Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday. 

“We are concerned that, for example, in supermarkets we need to make sure people actually wear masks and follow the one-way system, and when they are at capacity to operate safely, people wait outside,” he told Sky News. 

But Zahawi stopped short of saying enforcement of the rules should be the responsibility of the supermarkets rather than individuals.  “Our plea is to everybody, each and everyone of us. These rules are not boundaries to be pushed against. These rules are there to try and make sure we bring this virus under control,” he said. 

“The most important thing to do now is to make sure that…  compliance with the rules when people are going into supermarkets are being adhered to.”

Zahawi also praised supermarkets for doing “a tremendous job” in serving their communities and offering facilities for the vaccination roll-out. 

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