British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday hailed the “extraordinary feat” of the UK which, in 10 weeks, has given at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to more than 15 million people.
Almost a quarter of the British population has already received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. It is this “extraordinary feat” of the United Kingdom that Prime Minister Boris Johnson greeted Sunday February 14, allowing him to fulfill his goal and enter a new phase in his vaccination campaign.
Criticized repeatedly for his slowness and hesitation, Boris Johnson thus managed to win his ambitious bet of having offered a vaccine in mid-February to the four priority categories grouping together the over 70s and the most vulnerable or the most vulnerable. more exposed to the coronavirus.
Since the first injection on December 8, 15,062,189 people – out of a total population of 66 million – have thus received a first dose of vaccine against the coronavirus and 537,715 a second, according to figures provided on Sunday.
“This country has accomplished an extraordinary feat,” said Boris Johnson in a video posted on Twitter, hailing a “national” effort across the UK. “We did it together”, underlined the head of the conservative government, who sees the unity of the Kingdom crumbling because of the tendencies of independence increasingly strong of the Europhile Scotland with the Brexit.
“FANTASTIC NEWS: More than 15 MILLION people have now received their first vaccine against Covid”, greeted on Twitter the Minister of Health Matt Hancock.
This good news comes a week before the announcement, expected for February 22, of the “road map” of Boris Johnson’s government with a view to gradually considering the release of confinement – the third in the United Kingdom – introduced since beginning of the year faced with a more contagious variant, which gave rise to an explosion of the epidemic.
The most bereaved country in Europe
Because the country in Europe which vaccinates the most is also the one which presents the heaviest human toll with more than 117,000 deaths.
Boris Johnson said he was “optimistic” on Saturday about the possibility of moving towards a “cautious” relaxation of containment, on the sidelines of a visit to a vaccine production plant.
The government hopes to be able to reopen schools from March 8 and relax some of the restrictive measures, to allow meetings between two people from different homes outdoors.
From Monday, the UK is entering a new stage in its vaccination campaign, which will expand to people aged 65 to 69. And by May, the government wants to have vaccinated everyone over 50.
“There is still so much to do,” said Health Minister Matt Hancock, calling on all those who are eligible to “make an appointment.” “This vaccine is our path to freedom, we will defeat this virus injection after injection,” he added.
As early as last spring, the British government set up a “task force” to support research, in particular the University of Oxford and its partnership with AstraZeneca, to place massive orders of the most promising vaccines even before the research results. and promote large-scale production.
Hospitals, stadiums, or even cathedrals, the United Kingdom is massively distributing the Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines – which will be joined in the spring by the Moderna vaccine – with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers.
To prevent the importation of new variants that could resist current vaccines, a mandatory hotel quarantine system will go into effect Monday in England. It only concerns UK residents and Irish citizens arriving from 33 countries currently classified as high risk, from which arrivals for non-residents are already prohibited. All South American countries are on this “red list”, as well as South Africa.