Robert Jenrick confirms there are enough Covid jabs to meet government's target of vaccinating 9 vulnerable groups by April
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the government has enough Covid vaccines to reach their target of vaccinating the nine vulnerable groups by April.
Amid growing concerns that there could be a significant reduction in vaccine supplies next month, Kate Garraway and Susanna Reid challenged Mr Jenrick to explain what impact it could have on the vaccination programme.
Insisting that the government's targets will be met, Mr Jenrick said: "We do have line of sight for enough vaccines to meet our targets so that means all of the first categories one to nine, the over 50s and those with clinical vulnerabilities will still get vaccinated by the middle of April and our longer-term target of ensuring that every adult in the UK gets their first jab at least by the end of July. We’ve got a line of sight, we know we are on course to meet that target."
However, he did admit that "there are some supply issues right now."
Reassuring the public that they have nothing to worry about, Mr Jenrick continued: "If people are watching at home and are concerned that they are in those categories one to nine, they’re over 50 or they’ve got other clinical vulnerabilities and concerned that they might not get vaccinated by our target of mid April, there isn’t any reason to be worried, we are going to get you vaccinated with your first jab by then."
"Secondly, if you’ve had your first jab but are waiting for the second one - you have an appointment - those appointments are definitely all going to be honoured so we’re on course to meet our targets but there are some supply issues. It’s not unexpected. We knew there would be some ups and downs in the process and we’ve built an infrastructure across the country that is capable of doing millions of more jabs than we are at the moment," he added.
"We are on course to meet our targets so there’s no sense that the vaccine rollout will be slower than we had forecast."
Confirming that discussions with manufacturers are ongoing, Mr Jenrick said: "We are in discussion with the manufacturers and we’re confident they’re going to be able to get us the jabs that we need to do that. However, there are issues internationally with supply beyond that and that means that although we have the infrastructure to go well beyond those targets, we won’t be able to do that just yet. But we have got confidence that as we move into May, June and July, we will be able to get the number of jabs that we need to increase once again during those months."