Yesterday, a Downing Street source said there are currently no plans to introduce vaccinations after 8pm. Boris Johnson’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, said this was due to the lack of demand.
She said: “If you go and have a chat with the NHS, they will say that when they are asking people who are being offered vaccinations, and they’re asking what time it would suit them, if people say they would love an appointment after 8pm, then that is something that they will consider.
“My understanding is that, at the moment, there’s not a clamour for appointments late into the night or early in the morning.
“If that was the case then it was something the NHS would consider.”
At the Downing Street briefing, Mr Hancock said: “The vaccine rollout is now proceeding at pace and we all know that this is the way out of the pandemic.
“I’m determined, as I have been for almost a year now, to drive this vaccination programme as fast as is safely possible.
“I’m determined to ensure every adult in this country has the chance to be vaccinated and that as many people as possible take that chance to be vaccinated.”
Mr Hancock went on to say there are four key pillars to the Government’s vaccination programme: supply, prioritisation, places, people.
He said the “supply of vaccine is thee current rate-limiting step and we will bring forward as much vaccine as becomes available”.
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Mr Hancock added: “This stark fact explains why we must prioritise according to clinical need, to save lives, and because it is the fastest route to lifting restrictions.”
In a bid to issue the vaccines to more people, seven mass vaccinations centres have opened across England.
The centres were opened in Newcastle, Bristol, Epsom, London, Manchester, Stevenage and Birmingham.
During his televised speech, Mr Hancock said the expansion will include “community pharmacy” as well as “roving vaccination centres” in hospitals.
He added: “Over the past few months, we’ve recruited and trained an 80,000 strong vaccination workforce.
“I’m incredibly grateful to all those who have stepped forward, including people from all parts of the NHS, retired clinicians, pharmacists, airline cabin crew, the Armed Forces, St John’s Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service, and so many volunteers who have come forward for their country.”
The UK has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world following the outbreak of the pandemic.
So far, more than three million people have been infected with the death toll now surpassing 80,000.
Last week, the Prime Minister plunged England into its third national lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.