BORIS Johnson has reassured Brits that the AstraZeneca jab is safe and effective – as he calmed nerves about the country's vaccine rollout.
The PM spoke out to reassure worried Brits that they had nothing to fear by taking the jab, which he revealed he will get himself tomorrow.
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And he promised that despite some issues with supply, the NHS was still on track to deliver a dose to every adult by the end of July as planned.
All second doses would be given, and there would be more doses available than in February, he claimed.
The Prime Minister said: "The supply we do have will still enable us to hit the targets we have set."
He also stressed that there was "no change to the next steps of the roadmap" and Britain would continue to unlock if the data continued to go in the right direction.
The PM added: "Our progress along the road to freedom continues, unchecked.
"We remain on track to reclaim the things we love, to see our families and friends again, to return to our local pubs, our gyms, our sports facilities and of course, our shops."
This afternoon the European Medicines Agency gave the green light to the jabs continuing – despite several states pausing the rollout over fears it could lead to blood clots.
EU regulators said again today that it is safe and there was no need to stop jabbing.
The PM said tonight: "They've confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid far outweigh any risks.
"The Oxford jab is safe, the Pfizer jab is safe, the thing that isn’t safe is catching covid.
"I'm getting mine tomorrow.
"Get that jab when your turn comes. Let's get the jab done."
It came as:
- UK Covid deaths HALVE in a week with 95 fatalities and 6,303 cases recorded in last 24 hours
- Ministers admitted that UK jabs would be delayed, and there would be a renewed push to make sure every over 50 has got it first
- The jab won't be rolled out to the under 50s yet over a "lumpy" supply
- Shielding will end on March 31 for nearly four million people
- EU leaders threatened to seize factories and block exports to divert supply to the bloc
- It was reported that Indian Government may be considering holding some of the jabs back
- Boris Johnson said he would be getting the AstraZeneca jab "shortly"
Emer Cooke, the EMA's executive director, said she would take the Covid vaccine "tomorrow" if offered – after revealing the group's "clear scientific conclusion" that it should continue being used.
She said the jab is recommended for use – but a link between a small number of "blood clotting disorders" and the vaccine can't be entirely ruled out, so the EMA has instructed it be added to the warning label.
The recommendation by the EMA was expected to trigger a flood of screening U-turns from EU countries.
Within minutes of the announcement Italy became the first state to say it will resume use of the jab from tomorrow.
And the Spanish government called an emergency meeting to also discuss restarting vaccinations.
France and Ireland previously said they would also resume using the shot the moment it was ruled to be safe.
But the Swedish health agency announced its block on the jab will stay in place "for now".
Last night there were bitter recriminations within the bloc over the decisions to suspend it.
Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy's biggest party Lega, said heads should roll over the fiasco and urged "full steam ahead" on deploying the AZ shot.
He fumed: "Further mistakes by Brussels are not tolerable. We’re awaiting the firing of all those who got things wrong."
Poland's vaccination chief Michal Dworczyk also lashed out at the delays.
He said they were down to "panic in the EU that is not based on any research or scientific recommendations but based on political decisions".
Greece's PM said he "didn't understand" why some countries blocked the shot's use and that there was "no confusion whatsoever” about its safety.
UK JAB ROLLOUT SLOWS
Ministers last night admitted that the jabs rollout would slow down after this month as a result of supply issues.
Matt Hancock confirmed earlier that Britain's vaccine supply is somewhat due to a delay in a shipment from India of five million AstraZeneca jabs.
The delivery of doses has been held up by four weeks, sparking fears it may delay the rollout.
The PM twice refused to say the Indian Government was behind the delay – and said it was due to "technical" issues.
Mr Hancock reassured the nation that Britain was in the middle of a "bumper" week of supply, but admitted that in April "supply is tighter".
He vowed that next month, around 12million people will receive their second dose – which can't be delayed.
And he promised that no booked appointments would be cancelled, and it would have no impact on pushing back Britain's roadmap to freedom.
It was revealed today that there were 1.7million tests which needed to be rechecked.
Moderna vaccines will come into play in the "coming weeks", he vowed – as a company spokesperson said this would be next month.
Yet, the second phase of the immunisation blitz is unlikely to start before mid-April.
Boris said that the UK had "no bans on exporting stuff" and vowed to continue to work together with the EU despite threats from the continent. to disrupt our supply.
He brushed aside threats from Europe over holding back vaccines, saying: "Whatever you may hear about the pressures that different countries are under to deliver vaccines for their public, these vaccines are a multi-national effort and they are produced as the result of international cooperation and we in the UK will continue to view it in that spirit."
It comes after the EU yesterday threatened to seize factories on the continent making the jab and divert them to its own supply.
Their shambolic rollout has seen them lag far behind Britain in getting jabs in arms.
Just nine per cent of the EU has been jabbed compared to nearly half of Britain's adult population.
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab hit out yesterday at the EU's comments over blockding vaccine supply over their own shambolic rollout.
Mr Raab said: "Different countries have different approaches but I can tell you crystal clear the UK regulator, the EU regulator, and the WHO all say that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and people should continue to take it.
"It is safe, people should get the vaccine. It has been very clear from the MHRA, the UK regulator, that the risks of taking the vaccine are no more than, in terms of for example blood clots, than the population at large.
"There is no extra risk on the evidence that we've seen, which is why they have authorised the vaccine and haven't taken any further action.
"We respect the process and procedures that some other countries may need to go through but the vaccine is safe and people should certainly continue to take it and to protect themselves and their friends and family."
The MHRA issued a statement last week saying more than 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered across the UK with no issues.
And Mr Hancock wrote in The Sun to reassure readers they had nothing to worry about and there were no additional risks with taking it.
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