United Kingdom teachers, police, shop workers may get coronavirus vaccine in phase 2

A researcher at Aalborg University uses a pipette device to screen and analyze all positive Danish coronavirus samples for the virus variant cluster B117 from the United Kingdom

Britain's vaccine rollout is limited by a "lumpy" manufacturing process with production changes by Pfizer and a delay by AstraZeneca that could lead to brief supply disruption, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday.

In the United Kingdom more than 3.8 million people have now been given their first doses and over half of the over-80s have had the jab.

"And so it's the vaccine supply - which remains lumpy, it remains challenging, you may have read over the weekend probably some of the challenges around Pfizer and of course Oxford/AstraZeneca - but I'm confident we can meet our target mid-Feb, (for) those top four cohorts".

"There's bound to be delays".

He said the pilots, which are expected to be in place by the end of January, will trial "different types of 24/7 delivery to make sure we learn from it and we get it right".

He backed the target to offer a first jab to everyone by September as "achievable" and said that over-70s are now being offered first jabs in areas only where "the majority" of over-80s have had their first shot. Still, he said the United Kingdom was on course to hit its rollout targets.

VACCINE HOPES Mass COVID-19 vaccines are seen as the best way to exit the pandemic, which has killed more than 2 million people worldwide, wiped out trillions of dollars in economic output and upended normal life for countless people.

He told Sky News: "We are going to pilot the 24-hour vaccination, the NHS is going to pilot that in hospitals in London and we will look at how we expand that".

In a statement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom was "now delivering the vaccine at a rate of 140 jabs a minute". "That's the average so some areas are doing better", he told Sky.

The target will become priority once over-70s have been offered first jabs in areas only where "the majority" of over-80s have had their first shot.

Key workers such as teachers, the police and shopworkers could move to the top of the list for a vaccine once all those over 50 have been offered a shot, Zahawi said.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain, he said: "My instinct is that anyone who, through no fault of their own, has to come into contact with the virus in much greater volume and probability should be protected - teachers, policemen and women, shop workers, all those who need that additional protection".

Mr Zahawi said 24/7 vaccines are not now required because the 8am to 8pm schedule is more appropriate for those now being offered the vaccines - primarily those over 80 years of age.



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