Restrictions remain as vaccination programme accelerated

The Prime Minister has confirmed that Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown will be delayed by up to four weeks and the vaccination programme accelerated to respond to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

By 19 July, all adults will have been offered a first dose and around two thirds of all adults will have been offered two doses of the vaccine.

There are currently around 8,000 cases a day, the highest since the end of February, and these are increasing by around 64 per cent each week. Hospitalisations are starting to rise, with the average number of people admitted to hospital increasing in England by 50 per cent per week, and 61 per cent per week in the North-West.

In order to offer two vaccine doses to more people, prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths and protect the NHS, Step 4 will be delayed by up to four weeks to Monday 19 July. If the data rapidly improves this could be brought forward to 5 July.

All adults aged 18 and over will now be offered a first dose by 19 July, two weeks earlier than planned. All adults aged 23 and 24 will be able to book their first dose from 15 June. By 19 July, all those aged over 50 and the clinically extremely vulnerable will have been offered their second dose, and those second doses will have taken effect.

Additionally, second doses for all over 40s will be accelerated by reducing the dosing interval from 12 weeks to eight weeks. All over 40s who received a first dose by mid-May will be offered a second dose by 19 July.

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