UK hits vaccine target and warns of ‘deadly’ misinformation

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British Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivers a speech on the COVID-19 vaccine program at Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: Jacob King / Pool Photo via AP

Three-quarters of Britain’s adult population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, the government said on Wednesday, warning that “deadly” misinformation was undermining the global inoculation effort.

The Department for Health said 75.2% of people over the age of 18 in the UK have been shot and that 49.5% are fully vaccinated after two doses.

Britain is running to vaccinate all adults and curb a more contagious delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India and is rapidly spreading to the UK

The UK has recorded close to 128,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest number in Europe. A mass vaccination campaign launched in December has drastically reduced new infections and deaths, but confirmed cases are rising again, although daily deaths remain low.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock saw the 75% target as a big step forward, but warned that “a global pandemic of misinformation” was threatening the vaccination campaign.

“The speed of misinformation is a deadly threat,” Hancock said at an international meeting hosted by Britain to encourage vaccine recruitment.

The one-day Summit on Vaccine Confidence, which was attended by virtually diplomats, politicians and academics, which included the head of the US coronavirus response, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Africa.

UK hits vaccine target and warns of 'deadly' misinformation

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivers a speech on the COVID-19 vaccine program at Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: Jacob King / Pool Photo via AP

Heidi Larson, a professor of anthropology who leads the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the pandemic had raised concerns about vaccine doubts that “it has long been they were preparing “.

“COVID has uncovered many underlying issues of trust and mistrust,” Larson said: At the same time, the digital revolution has accelerated information and misinformation around the world.

He said that when European nations clashed with the AstraZeneca firing squad – which has been withdrawn or limited in some countries due to a link to rare blood clots – it of several African countries “in the vaccine.

“This global knock-on effect is another phenomenon we’re seeing in a different light,” said Larson, who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting.

He said the best thing governments could do was save “the massive divide in access to vaccines” around the world.

UK hits vaccine target and warns of 'deadly' misinformation

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivers a speech on the COVID-19 vaccine program at Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: Jacob King / Pool Photo via AP

Rich countries have achieved hundreds of millions of doses, while supply problems and the reluctance of nations, including Britain, to share doses before their own populations are fully inoculated, has slowed the UN effort. to distribute vaccines to .

Vaccine supply will be a priority when Hancock meets Thursday with health ministers from the Group of Seven Rich Nations at Oxford University, where the AstraZeneca vaccine was developed. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host US President Joe Biden and other G-7 leaders next week at a summit in the south-west of England.

The British government has faced strong criticism for erroneous steps in handling the pandemic, including hesitations about the country’s closure in March 2020 and proof of the failures that have led to the release of people with viruses from the pandemic. hospitals to residences, where thousands of residents died.

But his vaccination campaign has been highly praised. Britain got first contracts for several vaccines (four of which have been approved for use) and has used doctors, soldiers and volunteers to give more than 65 million doses in thousands of places.

Hancock said Britain had boosted confidence in the vaccine through the use of “trusted voices” – including naturalist David Attenborough and Queen Elizabeth II – to reveal that they had been shot and delivered a pro- message.

UK hits vaccine target and warns of 'deadly' misinformation

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivers a speech on the COVID-19 vaccine program at Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Credit: Jacob King / Pool Photo via AP

He said another key factor was to ensure that the process was fair, giving vaccines to the elderly and those most at risk first, and then lowering the age groups in an orderly manner.

“The British love to queue,” Hancock said. “And there’s nothing more annoying than someone jumping their tails.”


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