Boris Johnson receives second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine as new Covid variant threatens lockdown freedom

BORIS Johnson has received his second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid jab.

The PM was given the shot at the Francis Crick Institute in London this evening.

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His first dose was administered at London's St. Thomas' Hospital.

He said at the time: "I didn't feel a thing."

The PM returned to the hospital where he was treated for the virus in intensive care last year for his appointment at 6.30pm on March 19.

Speaking to reporters outside the hospital, he said: "I did not feel a thing. It was very good and very quick.

"I cannot recommend it more highly. When you get your notification please go and get your jab."

Reassuring Brits that the AstraZeneca jab was safe, he added: "Don't just listen to me, listen to what all the scientists and the European Medicines Agency have to say."

He was then joined by France's prime minister Jean Castex and Slovenia's leader Janez Jansa, who both received the AstraZeneca vaccine to try and rebuild confidence in it on the continent.

The PM earlier insisted there was no reason to worry about scare stories from the EU and told Brits: "The Oxford jab is safe and the Pfizer jab is safe.

"The thing that isn't safe is catching Covid, which is why it's so important that we all get our jabs as soon as our turn comes.

"Get that jab when your turn comes. Let's get the jab done."

Today's vaccine appointment was the second time Boris has been seen without his wedding ring, after getting married to Carrie Symonds at a super-secret service at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

It comes as:

  • No new countries were added to the green list
  • Seven countries including Egypt, Afghanistan and Costa Rica were added to the red list
  • Brits scrambled to refund their flights to Portugal
  • Families head to Greece despite the Government's amber warning – as one Brit mum says ‘my kids deserve a holiday’
  • Heathrow finally opens a separate red list terminal after weeks of India arrivals mixing with others in long border queues
  • Holidaymakers will be hit with soaring prices if green list additions are 'kept secret', says an airport boss
  • Brits are now banned from entering France unless they have ‘compelling’ reason to stop spread of Indian variant

Emer Cooke, executive director of the EMA, said their "clear scientific conclusion" is that the vaccine is "safe and effective".

She said: "Its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19, with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation, outweigh the possible risks.

"The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events, or blood clots."

The World Health Organisation also recommended countries keep using the AstraZeneca jab.

Scientists have even pointed out there's a higher risk of developing one from catching Covid itself.

The news comes on the same day that half of adults in the UK are thought to have received both doses of a vaccine, according to new figures, and a day after the Government announced that three quarters of adults had received their first dose.

A total of 26,422,303 second doses have now been delivered since the vaccination rollout began almost six months ago.

This is the equivalent of 50.2 per cent of all people aged 18 and over.

In England, 22,442,383 second doses have been given – the equivalent of 50.7 per cent of the adult population.

But despite the vaccination programme' success, there are fears a new Covid mutation could halt the full lifting of lockdown restrictions next month.

Grant Shapps today confirmed the "Nepal variant" – hours after the World Health Organisation slapped down reports of a new mutation.

The Transport Secretary said this afternoon "there's a sort of Nepal mutation of the Indian variant", which has "caused concern".

Although, the PM has been told to "get on with it" and lift lockdown entirely on June 21.


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