Every adult will be offered a vaccine by the end of July, under a dramatic acceleration of the programme ahead of Monday’s “roadmap” to start lifting the lockdown.
The timetable for delivering a first dose has been brought forward from September – with Boris Johnson hinting the move will also help speed up the easing of some restrictions.
The new targets – for the whole of the UK – will also see a first jab offered to all over-50s by 15 April, instead of the end of that month, as the programme continues to run ahead of expectations.
The prime minister again insisted his roadmap would be “cautious”, but also raised hopes for an earlier softening of the lockdown, as he comes under fierce pressure from Conservative MPs.
“We will now aim to offer a jab to every adult by the end of July, helping us protect the most vulnerable sooner and take further steps to ease some of the restrictions in place,” he said.