he government is “confident” everyone in the UK will get their second dose of a Covid vaccine within 12 weeks of the first, the culture secretary has said.
“Yes, of course, we’ve been planning that all the way through,” he said.
“It’s one of the most important considerations as we’ve rolled out the vaccine.
“In all of our planning, we have factored in getting that second dose of the vaccine.”
There were fears that second doses would be delayed after the NHS warned of a significant reduction in jabs available in England in April due to a lack of Oxford-AstraZeneca shipments from India.
However Mr Dowden sought to reassure people as he confirmed a batch of the Moderna vaccine would arrive in the UK in April.
The country’s stay-at-home order is also due to end.
Mr Dowden added: “I think tomorrow is an important day. First of all, allowing grassroots sports to resume, which is so important for our nation’s physical and mental health, but also ensuring that people can once again meet their loved ones outside.
“Of course, it’s important that we continue to abide by the rules but this is an important step back towards normality.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is wary of the prospect of rising coronavirus infection rates, but sees “absolutely nothing in the data” to stop the easing of the lockdown.
However, NHS England national medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said Covid 19 still had the capacity to “wreak more havoc and ill health on a significant scale”.
Prof Powis told the Sunday Telegraph the prospects “look immeasurably brighter and more positive” but that “does not mean job done”.
“We’ve made enormous progress that we need to build on and not squander the gains we’ve made,” he added.