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Boris Johnson has had his coronavirus vaccine as he urged Brits to get the jab and assured them it is safe.
The 56-year-old PM received his first dose of the OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine a day after a host of European countries announced they would return to using the jab following fresh safety assurances.
Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on Thursday: “The Oxford jab is safe and the Pfizer jab is safe.
“The thing that isn’t safe is catching Covid, which is why it is so important that we all get our jabs as soon as our turn comes.”
He urged the population to continue taking up the offer of a shot to ensure coronavirus cases continue to plummet so he can keep to his current timetable for easing the lockdown in England.
A further 91 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, with an additional 6,303 lab-confirmed cases.
“The way to ensure this (lockdown easing) happens is to get that jab when your turn comes, so let’s get the jab done,” Mr Johnson said.
His comments came after the EMA confirmed the vaccine is “safe and effective” and its benefits outweigh any risks.
Major lockdown hope as Boris Johnson promises 'no change to roadmap'
However, the regulator said it “cannot rule out definitively” a link between “a small number of cases of rare and unusual but very serious blood clotting disorders” and the vaccine, with investigations ongoing.
The Prime Minister has vowed not to let his plans for relaxing restrictions be hindered by a slump in vaccine supply next month.
He confirmed the UK would have “fewer vaccines than we had planned” in a move that could mean the under-50s might have to wait until May to get a vaccination, despite doctors having planned to start on that group in April.
AstraZeneca Covid jab: Brits urged to call GP if headaches last longer than four days
Mr Johnson said a delay in deliveries from India and the need to retest a batch of 1.7 million doses is behind the issues with vaccine supply in April.
But he said the drop in available doses would not impact on the target to offer all adults a first dose by the end of June or knock back his road map schedule.
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“There is no change to the next steps of the road map,” he said.
- Boris Johnson
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