COVID-19: PM vows AZ jab WORKS for over 65s after Germany only approved it for young people.

Boris Johnson and UK health chiefs insist AstraZeneca vaccine IS effective for ALL age groups after Germany claims jab should not be used on over-65s yet.

Germany's vaccine committee has said AstraZeneca's Covid jab should only be given to people aged under 65.

The committee cited "insufficient data" over its efficacy for older people.

The European Medicines Agency is to decide on Friday whether to approve the vaccine for use across the EU.

The UK has been using the AstraZeneca vaccine in its mass immunisation programme for weeks now, and public health officials say it is safe and provides "high levels of protection".

The Prime Minister also told Scottish nationalists to stop talking "endlessly" about a new independence referendum, saying most people wanted to see Britain "bouncing back more strongly together" after the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

On a trip to Scotland to try to stem growing support for another referendum, Johnson opted for a blunt message, saying independence supporters had their chance in 2014 in a vote they had agreed at the time was "a once-in-a-generation event."

The bonds that tie England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together in a $3 trillion economy have been severely strained by both Britain's exit from the European Union and Johnson's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Opinion surveys indicate a majority of Scots would now favour breaking apart the 314-year-old union between England and Scotland.

But Johnson, whose unpopularity runs deep in Scotland according to opinion polls, suggested he was sticking to his position of not approving another referendum, which the Scottish National Party needs to hold a legal vote.

Johnson made the comments at a vaccine laboratory just outside Edinburgh.

His visit to Scotland, at a time when the nation is in a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, drew criticism from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Scottish National Party (SNP) who questioned whether it qualified as "essential" under coronavirus guidelines.

Johnson's spokesman defended the trip, saying it was "a fundamental part of the prime minister's job to go out and see businesses and communities and people", particularly during the pandemic.

Sturgeon, who runs Scotland's semi-autonomous government, is hoping a strong SNP performance in its May 6 parliamentary election would give her the mandate to hold a second referendum.

If Scotland became independent, the United Kingdom - already grappling with the economic consequences of Brexit and the pandemic - would lose about a third of its landmass and almost a 10th of its population.

Scotland voted against independence by 55% to 45% in 2014.

But a majority of Scots also backed staying in the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum - though a majority in the United Kingdom overall, including England, Johnson's base, voted to leave - and Scottish nationalists say this boosts their case for secession.

Johnson acknowledged there were lots of "teething problems" with the country's adjustment to life outside the European Union's single market but the fishing industry - much of which is based in Scotland - would gain over the medium to longer term.

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