Vaccine boss ‘to get damehood’ after securing 350,000,000 jabs for UK

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The former head of the vaccines taskforce, Kate Bingham, is reportedly set to be given a damehood.

She is said to be among those who will be recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours which will be announced this month.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, venture capitalist Ms Bingham will be rewarded for her efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In her unpaid role as chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, she led procurement of vaccines and helped secure more than 350 million doses of seven different vaccines, including 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 100 million doses of the jab developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca.

The vaccine rollout has gone from strength to strength, and yesterday the UK passed yet another milestone with more than 40 million people having had at least one jab.

Bingham’s success came as the EU and many countries worldwide initially failed to secure enough vaccinations at the start of their programmes. 

Reports say the programme could be sped up, with over 25s and above invited to receive their first Covid jab from next week amid fears of more resilient variants.

Those aged 40-50 could also have their second shot within eight weeks of their first, rather than 12.

This measure has already been introduced to over-50s and means every adult above 40 could receive their second dose by July 5. 

A government source told the Telegraph ministers ‘want to double-dose as soon as possible.’ 

Meanwhile, the Sun said Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips will also be awarded a damehood after a distinguished dance career.

The 78-year-old was director and choreographer of Hot Gossip, a regular on TV in the late 1970s and early 1980s, worked on the West End and Broadway, and then on Strictly.

She was appointed a CBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to dance and charity.

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