The British Government is on course to beat its own target of immunising the entire adult population by the end of July. Research company Airfinity estimates that the UK will have vaccinated every adult by around June 10, whereas the EU will only hit the same target by the first week of August. The UK’s rapid vaccine rollout is likely to be worth tens of billions of pounds to the economy, according to analysis carried out for The Times.
A study by Dr Katharina Hauck, of Imperial College London, estimates that each month of lockdown costs the UK at least £18 billion a month in GDP.
By comparison, the vaccine campaign is thought to cost £12 billion in total, meaning that it will pay for itself by the end of the summer.
Mr Johnson’s roadmap envisages the final shackles of lockdown being discarded by June 21, as long as vaccines continue to be as effective as they have been in reducing hospital admissions.
The Government is set to receive a huge boost to its vaccine stock, with deliveries of the Moderna, Janssen and Novavax jab expected shortly.
This should allow health authorities to increase the pace of its Covid inoculations.
Senior government sources told the Daily Telegraph that all UK citizens over 40 will get their first dose by Easter.
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In what has been perceived as an attempt to shift blame from itself, the European Council President Charles Michel claimed last week the UK had imposed an “outright ban” on the export of Covid-19 vaccines.
Mr Johnson dismissed these allegations as baseless during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
He told MPs: “Let me be clear: we have not blocked the export of a single Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine components.”