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'Science is now unquestionably in the ascendency over the disease' - Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson urged the country to help make 'irreversible' progress to make this national lockdown the last.

The vaccination programme continues to rollout with over 15m people in England receiving their first jab and the government reaching its target of the top four most vulnerable categories outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Now the government is focused on offering every over-50 in England a vaccine by the end of April meaning the JCVI's nine vulnerable categories would have been offered a jab.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Good Morning Britain today he was confident the supply was available to ensure all over-50s could be vaccinated by the end of April.

Praising the vaccine rollout the Prime Minister said: “This is an unprecedented national achievement but it is no moment to relax.

“In fact it is the moment to accelerate because the threat from this virus remains very real.

"Although more than 90% of over-70s had been vaccinated, some 60% of hospital patients with Covid-19 were under that age."

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “Although the vaccination programme is going well, we still don’t have enough data about the exact effectiveness of the vaccinations in reducing the spread of infection.

“We have some interesting straws in the wind, we have some grounds for confidence but the vaccinations have only been running for a matter of weeks.

“While we are learning the whole time, we don’t, as I talk to you today, have all the hard facts that we need.

“And the level of infection remains very high.”

The Prime Minister said there were still more hospital patients with Covid-19 than at the peak of the first wave and admissions were running at 1,600 a day across the UK.

He told a Downing Street press conference: “We have to keep our foot to the floor.”

The next million invitation letters were offering appointments for a vaccine to the over-65s and those aged 16-64 with underlying conditions, as well as adult carers.

“If we can keep this pace up and if we can keep supply steady – and I hope and believe we can – then we hope to offer a vaccination to everyone in the first nine priority groups, including everyone over 50, by the end of April.”

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