The Prime Minister took to Downing Street for a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon alongside Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty. Boris Johnson gave the public an update on the vaccines, explaining that 1.1 million people in England and 1.3 million in the UK have now had the vaccine. The Prime Minister also said 23 percent of the over-80s in England have been vaccinated so far, meaning one in four of those in the most vulnerable group will now have enough immunity to protect themselves.
Mr Johnson said “the NHS is committed to offering a vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups”, which includes front line workers, those clinically extremely vulnerable and the elderly.
Professor Chris Whitty spoke on the infection rates and said that in the two weeks to December 30, the case-rate in Britain had increased by a staggering 70 percent.
The Professor also demonstrated that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is now higher than ever.
Mr Whitty said the vaccine should provide a “high degree of protection” to get us through “a really serious emergency at the moment”.
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Where are the 1,000 vaccine clinics Boris Johnson has pledged?
Mr Johnson said there will be 1,000 new vaccine sites giving the jab by the end of this week.
As it stands, there are currently 730 vaccine clinics in the UK, with 180 GP-led services and 100 more hospitals expected to come into effect this week, taking the total to 1,100.
At first, only a small number of hospitals will be able to distribute the new Covid vaccine, but after a few days these will become widely available through a variety of services.
Making the jab more widely available is crucial if the Government is to fulfil its promise of leading the biggest immunisation programme in the UK’s history.
It is not yet known which other sites will provide the vaccine once the GP-led programme goes live.
In Telford, however, a new mass vaccination hub is due to open at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) near Owestry.
The vaccine point is expected to open “later this week”, while Telford International Centre (TIC) is understood to be turning over to vaccinations “by the end of the month”, according to town council chiefs.
Shaun Davies, leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, said he was “over the moon” the Telford conference venue would be involved in the mass vaccination rollout.
In a Facebook statement on Tuesday, Mr Davies said: “Over the moon that after much fighting and pushing, I have it confirmed a mass vaccination site at the Telford International Centres are will be up and running by the end of this month.
“We are fighting for this to be brought online earlier and we continue to work hard to support the Government to make this happen.
“On the vaccination front, things have been too slow in Telford and Wrekin, and that must change.”
Vaccinations for those aged 80 and over have already begun at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital as of December 8, 2020, in addition to jabs for priority at-risk care home and frontline healthcare workers.