<p>A woman getting her coronavirus jab</p>

A woman getting her coronavirus jab

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The UK is set to have vaccinated half of all adults by the end of this week.

24.4 million Britons have already had their first jab, which makes it only 2 million short of over 50 per cent of all over 18s.

On Saturday, 512,108 people were given their first dose, which was a great boost to the overall total.

If the current average rate of 280,000 jabs a day continues, the under 50 group could be called by 29 March, according to reporting by The Daily Mail.

If this number doubles, aided by an increase in Oxford-AstraZeneca supplies, under-50 could get their invitations from 20 March.

This development comes after Boris Johnson issued a strong defence of the AstraZeneca vaccine after it was banned in a number of European countries. They cite concern about potential side effects, such as blood clotting.

Both the UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon have both said they would willingly accept it without thought.

Dr Michael McBride, the chief medical officer of Nothern Ireland echoed these calls as he received his dose of the vaccine on Monday.

This suspension of the vaccine in countries such as Germany, France and Spain comes as the European Union’s medical regulator claims the benefits outpace the drawbacks. This has not stopped The Netherlands, The Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and Thailand have also stopped issuing it.

The European Medicines Agency said, “many thousands of people” develop blood clots yearly in the EU and “the number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not be higher than seen in the general population.”

They are currently looking at relevant data and working closely with experts, including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the matter.

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