UK meets goal of offering coronavirus vaccine to 15M people in highest-priority groups

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The U.K. government announced on Sunday that it had reached its goal of getting at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine to its most vulnerable populations in England, signaling the beginning of the next phase of its vaccine rollout plan.

Al Jazeera reported that the U.K. had succeeded in meeting its goal of vaccinating by Feb. 15 the 15 million residents of England who were in four high-priority groups: those who live or work in care homes, those who are front-line workers, those who are aged 70 and above, and those who are are at a high risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrated the news, writing on Twitter, “We have vaccinated over 15 million people. This is an incredible UK-wide achievement. Thank you to the scientists, factory workers, delivery drivers, NHS staff, volunteers and many more who made this astounding feat possible.”

According to Al Jazeera, the next phase of the U.K.’s vaccine rollout plan will include vaccinating those aged 65 to 69 while continuing to immunize those who are at risk of developing a severe coronavirus case due to a compromised immune system.

The U.K. was the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, granting Pfizer’s vaccine emergency use authorization in early December. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all been approved for use in the U.K.

According to data from the World Health Organization, the U.K. has recorded more than 4 million coronavirus cases and nearly 117,000 deaths. Out of all European countries, the U.K. has been affected the most.

Tags COVID-19 vaccine U.K. vaccination rollout

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