The UK government plans to offer a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine to every adult in the country by September 2021, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
In an interview on Sky News, Raab said on Sunday that it would be “great” if the vaccine rollout could be faster but that the government was working to the early autumn target, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Our target is by September to have offered all the adult population a first dose,” he said.
“If we can do it faster than that, great, but that’s the roadmap.”
Raab further said that he hopes by the “early spring” some restrictions can be lifted “gradually” so the country can “get back to normal”.
However, the Foreign Secretary warned that it could be put “at-risk” by the new variants and pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) as he urged people to follow the restriction rules.
More than 3.5 million people in the UK have so far received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and some 324,000 doses were administered in the space of 24 hours, according to media reports.
Raab’s comments came a day after the country registered 1,295 Covid-19 deaths on Saturday, the third highest single-day spike since the pandemic began early last year.
But Saturday also saw the lowest number of confirmed cases this year with 41,346 new infections.
The UK has so far reported a total of 3,405,740 cases and 89,429 deaths.
England is currently under the third national lockdown.
Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.