Millions more can now get Covid vaccines 8 weeks apart

MILLIONS more Brits can now get their second coronavirus jab weeks earlier in a final push for Freedom Day, it has been announced.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this evening said that everyone under the age of 40 can have their second jab eight weeks after their first.

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Millions more Brits will now be able to get their second dose soonerCredit: LNP

After months of Covid rules, the PM tonight confirmed he will strip back lockdown to the bare bones of requiring people to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by test and trace.

Mr Johnson had previously vowed that the goal was to get every adult in the UK their first dose of a vaccine by July 19.

He said: “We will reinforce our vaccine war reducing the dose from 12 weeks to 8 weeks for the under 40s.”

This evening he said that Covid won’t be over on July 19 and that a careful and balanced decision must be taken.

He explained that while Covid cases are still rising, the vaccine programme has meant that hospitalisations have remained low.

“There’s only one reason why we can contemplate going ahead to step four… and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout”, he said.

It comes as:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this evening revealed that more Brits would be able to get their second dose after 8 weeks

Prime Minister Boris Johnson this evening revealed that more Brits would be able to get their second dose after 8 weeksCredit: PA

The chart above was shown this evening at a Downing Street press conference

The chart above was shown this evening at a Downing Street press conference

The PM said the aim is that “everyone over 18 should be double jabbed by the middle of September”.

He said this is on top of the autumn programme of booster jabs for the most vulnerable.

Mr Johnson said this evening: “We will move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.”

So far in the UK 45.3 million Brits have had a first dose, with 33.7 million also having had a second.

At present everyone under the age of 40 is offered either the Pfizer/BioNTech or the Moderna jab.

This is a precautionary measure put in place by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) following reports of rare blood clots in patients who had the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.


Under the Prime Minister’s plan for Step 4 of the road map the government will no longer instruct people to work from home.

All remaining businesses will be able to reopen, including nightclubs, while capacity caps will be lifted and bars and restaurants will no longer be restricted to table service

Although the legal requirement to self-isolate will remain for people who have tested positive or been identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace, Mr Johnson wants contacts who are fully vaccinated to be exempt and the Government will set out further details in due course

Mr Johnson previously urged people over 40 to move their jab appointment forward after the end of lockdown was pushed back by four weeks.

Last week the JCVI stated that second doses should be given no earlier than eight weeks after the first jab.

Their call came after some vaccination sites urged people to come in for their second doses to not waste jabs.

NHS chiefs last week said: “This consistent interval should be used for all two-dose vaccines to avoid confusion and simplify booking.”

Ruth Rankine, the director of primary care at the NHS Confederation said: “Some sites may have excess supply that would otherwise go to waste, while others may be coming to the end of their programme and have taken a pragmatic approach to use up vaccines rather than waste them.”

Clinical trials have shown that it is safe to have the second jab after four weeks and the 12 week approach was first introduced when supplies of vaccines were shorter.

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