The over-65s will shortly get their first Covid shot, as the 15-million-strong cohort of over-70s, care-home residents and staff, frontline NHS workers and the clinically vulnerable will all have received one jab by February 15.

By the end of Friday, some 14 million people will have been given the first dose of one of three vaccinations approved for use in the UK, with the final million to be inoculated over the weekend. The vaccine will then be offered to adults aged 65 and any over-16s in at-risk groups, then all those 60 and over, then 55 and over, and finally 50 and over.

Having vaccinated the first 15 million considered to be the most vulnerable, the UK government wants to have inoculated another 17 million by the end of May. Health officials in Scotland and Wales are already booking in those over 60 for their first vaccinations.

“We will have completed the first four groups by this weekend,” Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Friday. “Then, as from Monday, people in the next five groups – that’s people aged over 50 – will already be booked in for their appointments next week.”

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That news comes as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon predicts that many over-65s in Scotland will already have had their vaccines by the time Monday rolls around.

Favorable vaccination data is essential to ending the current lockdown, Home Office minister for safeguarding Victoria Atkins said Friday, confirming that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline a plan in Parliament on lifting the restrictions on February 22.

Across the UK, more than half a million people over 70 have also received a second dose of the vaccine.

Around 116,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK and the country has recorded four million cases since the pandemic began a year ago.

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