All over 50s will be offered their first dose of the vaccine by April 15, with Britain on course to complete nearly a fifth of the age group within two weeks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also announced a new target to offer the first dose of the vaccine to all adults by the end of July.
The new targets are set to be included in Monday’s roadmap when the Prime Minister will chart the UK’s approach to easing lockdown.
With nearly 17 million people now vaccinated and more than 1500 vaccination sites in operation, Mr Johnson will set out plans to boost the speed at which more adults are protected as well as the future of lockdown restrictions.
The announcement comes as Telegraph analysis shows nearly a fifth of England’s population live in areas set to vaccinate all over-50s before lockdown is eased.
Projections for local rates of vaccination suggest nine healthcare partnerships covering 9.9m people will have given enough first doses for all over 50s before March 8 – the date Number 10 has previously pencilled in for the reopening schools.
Previous targets aimed to offer a first vaccine to over 50s, covering the top nine priority groups, by May and to all adults by autumn.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our vaccination programme is accelerating at unprecedented pace and in England we have now vaccinated over 14 million of those most vulnerable to Covid with their first dose.
“I urge everyone who is eligible for the vaccine to come forward as soon as possible so we can beat this pandemic together.”
While vaccination rates storm ahead, Downing Street says all adults will still be offered a second dose within 12 weeks of their first jab with almost 600,000 second doses already administered.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “The NHS covid vaccination campaign continues full steam ahead.
“Letters inviting everyone aged 65 to 69 went out a week ago, and already over two thirds of them have had their first covid vaccination.
“Across England overall nearly a third of adults have now had their first jab and early signs suggest this is contributing to the welcome fall in coronavirus hospitalisation that we’re now seeing.”
Telegraph analysis of the latest data suggests some areas may be able to complete the final five priority groups, which includes those in their fifties and sixties, over a month ahead of schedule.
Gloucestershire – one of the fastest vaccinating areas in England – has already administered first doses to 97 per cent of its 100,525 over 70s and 18 per cent of the 360,845 under 70s as of February 14, NHS England data shows.
Keeping up its most recent pace of 37,261 doses a week would mean the county would hit 170,333 first doses for under 70s by March 7 – equivalent to its entire 50 to 69 population.
Also set to administer a similar level of first doses by March 7 are partnerships covering Devon, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Suffolk, Staffordshire, Leicestershire and West Yorkshire, which as of February 14 have all vaccinated at least 94 per cent of their over 70s and 14 per cent of under 70s.
In addition the analysis suggests that by the end of the first week of lockdown easing a majority in England – 78 per cent – will live in an area with enough first doses administered for all over-50s, a group that accounts for over 97 per cent of Covid-19 deaths.
However, the data also reveals the areas lagging behind in vaccinations, with partnerships covering 12.4m people more likely to give out enough first doses for over 50s towards the end of March and beginning of April.
Uneven progress across the whole of England may hold back an accelerated lockdown timetable, given the Prime Minister has indicated the Government will take a national approach to the easing of restrictions, as opposed to a tiered system of local rules in place at the end of last year.
Based on their February 14 rates, partnerships including those covering Cambridgeshire, West Birmingham, Derbyshire and Essex will give out enough first doses for over 50s by the week ending March 21, while the East London health and care partnership is more likely to see first doses match its population of 50 to 69 year olds by the first week of April.
In that part of the capital only 80 per cent of over 70s and 10 per cent of over 70s have received a first dose as of February 14 – some of the lowest shares in England.
— to www.telegraph.co.uk