Priti Patel confronted with Boris Johnson quote by Peston
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The UK hit a major vaccine milestone today, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock announcing more than 25 million people have now received their first Covid vaccine dose. More than half of the adult population have now been vaccinated against coronavirus, an incredible feat accomplished just 100 days after Margaret Keenan became the first person vaccinated against Covid-19 in the UK. Alongside this remarkable news, the Prime Minister also had some vaccine news of his own when he appeared in the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions today.
Is Boris getting vaccinated?
The Prime Minister announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday that he has been contacted to attend his Covid vaccine appointment.
Number 10 said the Prime Minister is expected to receive the Covid vaccine later this week.
Mr Johnson is 56 years old and is therefore eligible for a vaccine in the first phase of the UK’s vaccine rollout programme.
The Government is aiming to offer a vaccine to all people in the top nine priority groups by mid-April, which includes all people over the age of 50.
All people over the age of 50 are now being invited to book their Covid vaccine appointments online via the NHS website.
The news of a vaccine appointment undoubtedly came as welcome relief to the Prime Minister, who spent three nights in intensive care while he battled the virus last April.
After he left hospital, the Prime Minister thanked the National Health Service for the “brilliant” care he had received.
Which Covid vaccine will Boris get?
Mr Johnson confirmed to MPs he will be receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine.
Mr Johnson told MPs: “I think perhaps the best thing I can say about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine programme is that I finally got news that I’m going to have my own jab very shortly, I’m pleased to discover…
“It will certainly be Oxford/AstraZeneca that I will be having.”
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It is understood the NHS told Mr Johnson he would receive the AstraZeneca jab because of the public interest surrounding the vaccine.
However, it is unclear whether Downing Street had specifically requested it.
Several countries have banned the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over fears of a link between the vaccine and incidents of blood clots.
However, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, told Wednesday’s Downing Street press briefing “reassuring” evidence is emerging.
He said: “Behind the scenes, there is a lot of work going on to look at whether there is a signal in relation to what we call venous thromboembolic events, clots, VTE for short.
“There’s a lot of evidence emerging now that is reassuring, that there is no overall excess signal or increased risk.
“I expect, without prejudice to their absolute findings, those to be the final conclusions of the EMA and the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) in due course.
“So, no evidence of increased risk, but as you heard from Professor Ramsay, a lot of evidence that the vaccine is actually saving lives.”
Professor Van-Tam added vaccines “don’t save lives if they’re in fridges”.
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