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UK Covid live: all over-18s in England should be eligible for jabs from end of this week, says NHS boss

Latest updates: Simon Stevens says he expects bookings to open for all over-18s from later this week

All adults in England should be able to book a coronavirus vaccination by the end of this week, Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, said this morning.

Speaking to the NHS Confederation annual conference, Stevens said:

It is now very important that we use the next four weeks to finish the job to the greatest extent possible for the Covid vaccination programme, which has been a historic signature achievement in terms of the effectiveness of delivering by the NHS – over 60 million doses now administered.

By July 19 we aim to have offered perhaps two-thirds of adults across the country double jabbed.

Mark Harper, the Conservative MP who chairs the Covid Recovery Group, which represents anti-lockdown or lockdown-sceptic backbenchers, told LBC this morning that he thought the government could have gone ahead “perfectly safely” with removing all remaining restrictions for England on 21 June, as originally planned. Harper said:

I listened carefully to what the prime minister said yesterday and I was in the House of Commons for the health secretary’s statement, and it seemed to me we don’t know anything today that we didn’t know when the prime minister was telling us he was happy to move ahead on the 21st of June …

Ultimately we’ve reduced the risk of this disease hugely by our fantastic vaccination programme, and, as the government says, we’ve got to learn to live with it, but the problem is every time we get to that point, ministers seem to not actually want to live with it and keep restrictions in place.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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