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Government refuses to guarantee second Covid vaccine doses within 12 weeks

by Sofia Lind
20 January 2021

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The Government has stopped short of guaranteeing that everybody will get their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine within 12 weeks.

Pushed on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme, foreign secretary Dominic Raab only said the Government ‘ought to be able to deliver on that’, and that it was something it is ‘aiming’ for.

He said: ‘I think if we follow the roadmap and the supply chains that we have set out, along with the back-up that we’ve got because we’ve got the volume of doses – 360 million – and we’ve also got seven suppliers, we ought to be able to deliver on that.

‘But of course right the way through this pandemic we’ve had to adapt to all sorts of different things. So we are just focused on making sure we deliver on the roadmap that we’ve got.’

He added: ‘We absolutely are aiming for that. We should be able to deliver it.’

He also said all UK adults should be offered their first dose of the vaccine by September and that some lockdown restrictions may be lifted by March.

Chief medical officer advice on Covid vaccinations changed on 31 December to say all second doses should be given after 12 weeks instead of three weeks, to maximise the number of people that will be protected in the shortest possible time frame.

Some GP practices had decided to honour second-dose appointments already made but NHS England changed the enhanced service conditions to ban this practice as of Monday last week.

A version of this story first appeared on our sister publication, Pulse.