Britons aged over 70 in England begin receiving coronavirus vaccines

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LONDON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — People in England aged 70 and over, as well as those listed as clinically extremely vulnerable, will begin to receive the first dose of coronavirus vaccine from Monday, British officials announced.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the move, which will cover more than five million people categorized as priority groups three and four, was a “significant milestone” in the country’s efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

On Monday, Britain closed its travel corridors until at least mid-February to keep out “unidentified new strains” of coronavirus.

The latest development came after more than 3.8 million people have received the first dose of vaccine. Ten new vaccination hubs are opening in England from Monday, joining the seven already in use.

According to the British Department for Health and Social Care, people in the top two groups including care home residents, those aged 80 and over and front-line healthcare workers, should still be prioritized for vaccinations.

Nadhim Zahawi, the minister responsible for the vaccine rollout, said despite “lumpy” vaccine supply, he was “confident” that Britain is able to vaccinate all 15 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said every adult in Britain is expected to receive at least one dose of a vaccine by September.

However, with deaths and confirmed cases remaining high, it is believed that Britain will still be under tight restrictions for the next few months.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Another 38,598 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, the lowest daily increase since the start of the year, according to official figures released Sunday.

The daily figure brought the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,395,959, the data showed.

Another 671 have died within 28 days of a positive test. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain stood at 89,261, the data showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines. Enditem

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