The UK will face a tough few months before enjoying a “happy and free” summer, Matt Hancock said as a record 600,000 people received their first vaccine dose in a day..
“I have a high degree of confidence that by then the vast majority of adults will have been vaccinated,” the health secretary said. So far nearly nine million people have been given a first dose.
It came as the government sought to de-escalate tensions in its row with the European Union over the supply of Covid-19 vaccines, even offering to “help” Brussels amid the ongoing pandemic.
Ministers expressed confidence that the European Union will not block vaccines entering the UK and two sides agreed to a “reset” in relations.
Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, said on Saturday that the EU recognises it “made a mistake” and Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, said he was “reassured the EU has no desire to block suppliers fulfilling contracts for vaccine distribution to the UK”.
After emergency talks between Boris Johnson, Irish premier Micheal Martin European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Mr Gove said vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca are expected to be supplied to the UK as planned.