15 MILLION Brits have had second Covid jab as majority over-70s and clinically vulnerable now fully vaccinated

A WHOPPING 15million Brits have now received a second Covid jab – with the majority over-70s fully vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the rollout, writing on Twitter: "15 million people across our United Kingdom have received two doses of a COVID vaccine.

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"Thank you to everyone who has made this possible.

"Please keep coming forward to get your jabs to give yourself maximum protection from the virus."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Itā€™s fantastic news that 15 million people have now received two jabs.

"The vaccination progress has been extraordinary, and I want to give my thanks to all the team – NHS, volunteers, military and so many others.

"Getting a second dose is absolutely vital to ensure people are getting the strongest possible protection from this deadly virus – I encourage everyone to book their jab as soon as they are offered it."

The Herculean jab rollout has continued to smash milestones in the UK as Britain prepares for the next phase of lockdown easing this month.

A huge 15,329,617 have been given a second dose – with the majority of over 70s and the clinically vulnerable now fully vaccinated.

And a staggering 49,834,997 jabs in total have been given out.

The next stage of the vaccine rollout started this week with Brits over the age of 44 being asked to come forward for their jabs.

If the current rollout continues at this pace,Ā Brits in their 30s could be offered a jabĀ as soon as next month.

This puts Boris Johnson on target to keep his promise of having every adult vaccinated by July.

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The mammoth effort has helped drive down cases and deaths in the UK – leading to hopes lockdown will be fully lifted from June 21.

Yesterday, fatalities plunged 78 per cent in a week to seven, while just 1,907 infections were reported.

Hospital rates have also dramatically fallen –Ā with more than a third of NHS trusts having zero Covid patients in intensive care.

Despite the promising news, Dominic Raab today hinted face masks and social distancing could stay in place until after June.

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The Foreign Secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "We want to get to a position at the end of June where we can get life back to as normal as possible but there need to be some safeguards in place."

When asked what additional measures might be need still, he replied: "It will be around distancing maybe there will be something around masks but I don't want to prejudge it."

The minister also urged caution in the "last lap" of the battle with Covid as there is just a "little bit more time left".

HeĀ told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "I know that people are hankering to go a bit faster but actually we feel vindicated at taking steady steps out of the lockdown is the smart way to go.

"We're very close now to really turning the corner and I think we still need to be careful to go as I said we don't want to see the gains lost and the sacrifices that have been made undone.

"By the time we get to June 21 almost all social restrictions will be lifted so there's only a little bit more time to go, but it's right to make sure we do that in a careful way."

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