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Lockdown easing 'data driven not date driven' as 'millions' of fresh jab doses arrive


Mr Zahawi joined BBC Breakfast hosts Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt to discuss Boris Johnson’s timeline for lifting current coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the UK. The Vaccine Minister insisted that the Government’s approach to lifting the lockdown would be governed by the data. It comes after the Prime Minister Monday night vowed to make the current lockdown the last, with plans set out for “tens of millions” of fresh vaccine doses to arrive in March.


Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “We are going to be data-driven rather than date driven.

“Of course we all want the same thing, that is to get our lives back as quickly as possible.

“From the severe lockdown and that is the right thing to do,

“Which is why we are so focused, putting so much energy into the vaccination programme.”

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“But we are going to be data-driven,” added Mr Zahawi.

“Because if you are data-driven then it will be sustainable.

“We want to make sure that as we are unlocking the economy, as we take our lives back, you know get our economy back on its feet it will be sustainable in the long-term.”

It comes as Mr Johnson vowed Britain’s vaccination programme will “accelerate” in the coming weeks.

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Mr Johnson hailed the “unprecedented national achievement” but said it was “no time to relax” as he fired the starting gun on vaccinating all over-50s and those clinically vulnerable by the end of April.

Millions of over-65-year-olds have received letters inviting them to book an appointment to get a jab along with those aged 16-64 with underlying conditions, and adult carers.

“We have to keep our foot to the floor,” Mr Johnson said tonight.

“This is an unprecedented national achievement but it’s no moment to relax and, in fact, it’s the moment to accelerate because the threat from this virus remains very real.


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