The British government aims to have vaccinated all adults in the United Kingdom by the fall, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday, while the British public health service (NHS) is now found in “a dangerous situation”.
“Of course, we start with the most vulnerable”, but “every adult will be offered a vaccine by the fall”, the minister pledged on the BBC.
The country in Europe most bereaved by the pandemic with 80,868 dead (+1,035 in 24 hours), the United Kingdom is currently facing an outbreak of contamination by the coronavirus attributed to a more contagious variant.
More than three million people have been declared positive there since the start of the pandemic (+59 937 Saturday) and 30,000 patients are hospitalized for the Covid-19 disease.
“The NHS is currently facing the most dangerous situation that we can remember,” warned in the Sunday Times Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England.
“If the virus continues on this trajectory, hospitals will be in real difficulty, and that very soon”, he added, warning against “the staff / patient ratio – already very high”, which will soon become “unacceptable” .
To get out of this situation, the British government has embarked on a “race against time” to vaccinate by mid-February the over 70s, caregivers and vulnerable people, or around 15 million people belonging to to a category of the population where 88% of deaths due to Covid-19 occur.
And “we are on the right track” to achieve it, estimated the Minister of Health on Sky news, affirming that the United Kingdom now vaccinates “200,000 people per day”, thanks to the vaccines of BioNTech-Pfizer and of AstraZeneca / Oxford.
According to Matt Hancock, the vaccination campaign that began in early December has so far allowed 1.5 million people, including “about a third of those over 80,” to receive their first injection.
But the British government, considered too slow to react, is singled out by some experts. “The UK does not have a clear strategy beyond reactive containment when hospitals are under pressure,” said Times Radio Devi Sridhar, a public health expert at the University of Edinburgh.
As the country entered its third lockdown, the professor considers it “unrealistic” to hope that citizens continue to abide by these rules, after “almost a year” of restrictive measures, calling on the government to present a “clear plan to get out. of these confinements ”.