Boris Johnson has warned that the reduction in coronavirus infections, hospitalisations and deaths “has not been achieved” by the rollout of COVID vaccines.
The prime minister, speaking the day after the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, instead said it was the national shutdown that had been “overwhelmingly important” in driving down COVID rates.
Nearly 40 million vaccine doses have now been given across the UK, with those aged between 45 to 49 now able to book their jab appointments.
They are being invited for vaccines after the government’s target for offering a first dose to priority groups one to nine – including all over-50s – was reached three days early.
But, speaking in 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson suggested the millions of vaccines given over the past few months was not key to the reduction in COVID levels.