Matt Hancock receives first Covid jab from Jonathan Van-Tam

Covid vaccine: Matt Hancock receives first jab - from Jonathan Van-Tam

NHS in England extended vaccine appointments to everyone aged 42 and over earlier this week

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 29 April 2021 19:40

Matt Hancock has received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam administering the jab.

The health secretary urged people to come forward after the NHS extended the eligibility of the vaccine booking appointments to everyone aged 42 or over in England earlier this week.

“Brilliant! Got the jab. In & out in 8 minutes. Didn’t hurt at all. Massive thanks to JVT & the Science Museum team. When you get the call, get the jab,” the health secretary posted on social media.

Mr Hancock received his vaccine at the Science Museum in London, where a team is documenting the pandemic response and preserving items such as the first Covid-19 vaccine vial to be used in Britain in 2020.

In a statement, the cabinet minister said over 47 million doses have now been administered across the country, adding: “The rollout continues at pace and we are on track to reach our target of offering all adults a first dose of the vaccine by the end of July. 

“I was very excited when my call came, and I’d urge everyone to take up the offer when it comes, and become part of history in the UK’s biggest ever vaccination programme.”

Professor Van-Tam, who has become a familiar face at the No 10 coronavirus press conferences, suggested on Wednesday that Covid case levels are “close to the bottom” with “very low” incidence levels.

He stressed that during the peak of the virus in early 2021 not many people were vaccinated so the drop in cases, hospitalisations and deaths were due to the efforts of the British public during the government imposed lockdown.

“The vaccine has undoubtedly helped in the later stages and there is good evidence that the death rate in the elderly has dropped faster than it has in the younger age groups and it has dropped faster than it did in the second wave, and that is undoubtedly a vaccine effect,” he said.

“What is important about these vaccines and the vaccine rollout is it really is the way out of getting into trouble of the same size and magnitude ever again, and that’s why it’s important that this job must get finished.”

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