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Gibraltar is first nation to vaccinate entire adult population

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Gibraltar has become the first nation in the world to fully vaccinate its entire adult population against coronavirus.

Health secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons today that the British territory reached the milestone yesterday.

He said: “I am delighted to be able to tell the house that yesterday, Gibraltar became the first nation in the world to complete its entire adult vaccination programme.

“I want to pay tribute to all Gibraltarians for their fortitude during this crisis and the kind words of first minister Fabian Picardo, who said yesterday ‘the United Kingdom has played a blinder on vaccinations and we are among the beneficiaries in the British family of nations’.

“I agree, the vaccination programme has been a success thanks to a team spirit across the British family of nations.”

Gibraltar, which has a population of around 34,000 people, has had 4,263 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation.

Some 94 Gibraltarians have died from the virus, while there are 26 “active cases” – but this includes 10 visitors.

Matt Hancock made the announcement in the Commons today

/ PA Wire

The health secretary added: “Throughout the crisis, we have provided Gibraltar with PPE, testing and a sovereign guarantee for their Covid spending.

“We have also provided Gibraltar with vaccines, as we have with all other British overseas territories.”

Gibraltar’s chief minister told the territory’s parliament on Monday that it was on course to complete its vaccination programme because of the UK government’s support.

He said: “We have felt the real support of the United Kingdom in the provision of PPE, testing and the sovereign guarantee for our Covid spending.

“But, perhaps, most importantly with the provision at no cost to Gibraltar of the Covid vaccine in quantities that enables me to say today that Gibraltar will be the first nation to complete a whole nation vaccination programme.”

Mr Picardo also confirmed that the so-called Kent variant was not behind the spike in cases over Christmas and that most cases were found to be the same strain seen commonly throughout western Europe over the summer.

There have been no cases of the South African or Brazilian variant in the territory so far.

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