UK hits target: Giving at least 1 vaccine shot to 15 million

The U.K. government says it has reached its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to the most vulnerable people in the country, increasing pressure on ministers to clarify when they will ease a lockdown imposed in early January

LONDON — The U.K. government said Sunday that it reached its goal of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to the most vulnerable people in the country, increasing pressure on ministers to clarify when they will ease a lockdown imposed in early January.

Some 15 million people, or 22% of the U.K. population, have received their first shot or were offered one. The figure includes most people in the government’s top four priority groups, including everyone over 75, frontline healthcare workers and nursing home staff.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to unveil his roadmap for easing restrictions on Feb. 22 amid signs that infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths have fallen sharply since England’s third national lockdown began on Jan. 4.

Jockeying has already begun between those who want the measures lifted as soon as possible and those who fear moving too fast will lead to a resurgence of the virus.

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