ENTERTAINMENT

Is Matt Hancock ALREADY stepping down from the mid-February vaccination goal?


Tory MPs yesterday accused Matt Hancock of downplaying the government's vaccination ambitions, claiming his department turned down an offer from pharmacists to support the largest vaccination drive in history – and it turned out that doses of the vaccine were on one Not be delivered to family doctors on Sundays.

The health minister described the prospect of giving the 13 million vulnerable people, who will be most affected by mid-February, the coronavirus sting a "best case scenario" – although this is the only way the country out of the lockdown comes out with the livelihoods and spiritual well-being of the millions who ride it.

Many of his parliamentary colleagues were not reassured by his comments on Zoom yesterday morning as fears grow that the government will not be able to act fast enough to achieve the goal.

A MP who described the call as "Hancock's half hour" said: "He stressed that the prospect of vaccinating those at risk by mid-February is a best-case scenario." It was severely restricted.

“He gave many reasons why it couldn't happen by then. He gave himself a lot of leeway. It was very a claim and there were no guarantees. I am afraid that they did not receive sufficient quantities of the vaccine. & # 39;

He said two million doses of the Oxford vaccine would arrive this week for use next week. You should have camped. The rollout must take place as soon as possible. It's the only chance we have. & # 39;

Tory MPs' fears follow claims from industry leaders that high street pharmacies are "desperate" to introduce more than a million Oxford vaccine doses a week but have been rejected by the government. They said the Telegraph pharmacies could help give more than a million injections a week if the 11,400 locations with a pharmacist trained in injections do 20 a day.

And leaked documents show that Public Health England has decided not to work on delivering the Covid-19 vaccines to NHS hospitals on Sundays. The NHS Trusts warn that deliveries will not be made on Sundays or at agreed "limits" every noon, according to the report.

Boris Johnson pledged to open 1,000 vaccination centers this week and seven mass vaccination centers next week as pressure increased on him to accelerate the rollout of the jab.

He said the additional infrastructure would help deliver two million vaccinations a week for the most vulnerable.

In the UK, more than 1.3 million people have now been vaccinated with the Pfizer or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The number includes 23 percent of people over 80 in England. However, MPs warned that nothing less than "national mobilization" would enable him to achieve his goal of vaccinating 13 million by mid-February.

On a national broadcast, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer called for "round the clock" shocks to beat Covid-19. Mr Johnson said the government would publish daily vaccination numbers starting Monday to ensure "maximum transparency" about the introduction. He said the data would allow people "to see how much progress we are making, day by day, stitch by stitch."

The message comes as follows:

  • Chris Whitty warned that Covid restrictions may be needed next winter if the vaccine engine isn't effective enough
  • Around 1.1 million people in England – that's roughly 2.06% of the population, or one in 50 people – had coronavirus between December 27 and January 2, according to ONS figures
  • The UK recorded 830 coronavirus deaths yesterday and daily cases rose over 60,000 for the first time
  • GCSE exams and high school graduation exams have been canceled for students in England whose grades are likely to be set by teachers
  • Government graphs show cases of highly infectious variant of Covid are falling in London and the South East
  • Lockdown 3 is expected to cost the UK £ 390m a day, fueling fears of a double-dip recession
  • PM says 1.3 million have been vaccinated and promises the UK can get thrusts on the vulnerable by mid-February

Pictured: Health Secretary Matt Hancock ran Downing Street Tuesday after Boris Johnson took further action as part of a new lockdown in England. In a Zoom appeal on Tuesday, Hancock failed to reassure other MPs in the country's vaccination program

The slides presented at the briefing showed that one in 50 people in England is believed to be infected with coronavirus

The slides presented at the briefing showed that one in 50 people in England is believed to be infected with coronavirus

The double-dip recession is on the way: Lockdown 3 will cost us £ 390 million a day after the UK closes … fueling fears of financial Armageddon

The UK is facing its first double-dip recession since 1975, with the most recent lockdown expected to cost nearly £ 400 million a day.

Production in the first quarter of this year will be £ 24.57 billion lower than without the third national lockdown, a think tank warned yesterday.

The Center for Economic and Enterprise Research (CEBR) predicts the lockdown being lifted in mid-February, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes will have cost the UK £ 390 million every working day.

According to the forecast group Oxford Economics, production is likely to shrink by more than 4 percent in the first three months of the year.

Although the economy should recover later as the introduction of the Covid vaccine allows stores and restaurants to reopen, experts have already started lowering their growth projections for 2021.

Howard Archer from the EY Item Club's economic forecasting group had previously expected 6.2 percent growth in 2021.

However, given the bleak start to 2021, he doubts that production – or gross domestic product (GDP) – will grow by more than 5.5 percent.

Mr Archer said: “With restrictions currently in place in most regions of the UK, the EY Item Club expects the economy to have a challenging start to 2021 and is expected to see a slight decline in the first quarter. This would lead to a double recession. "

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, and a new one would mark the UK's first double-dip recession since 1975, when the banking sector was in crisis and the country was rocked by a series of strikes.

The pandemic dragged the UK into its first recession in eleven years early last year.

The country had a brief hiatus in the third quarter when the first lockdown was lifted and the Eat Out to Help Out program encouraged the British to spend.

However, the economy is expected to have contracted again in the last three months of 2020 as the Covid restrictions were reintroduced.

Last month, the Bank of England forecast a 1 percent decline in the final quarter of 2020. However, Mr. Archer believes the decline could be closer to 2 percent.

Simon Dukes, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Negotiating Services Committee, asked why the NHS "crawled around" trying to find ways to give the vaccine when its industry offered its services.

Ministers have come under pressure to use thousands of vaccines in pharmacies to run the vaccinations at the national level rather than relying on general practitioners, nurses and volunteers, but Mr Dukes says his industry has been de facto silenced despite the testimony They are "ready, ready and desperate to help the NHS," reports The Telegraph.

He said there were around 11,400 pharmacies across the UK giving flu vaccinations each year, with a capacity of about 1.3 million people a week against Covid-19.

And leaked documents show that Public Health England has decided not to work on Sundays to deliver the Covid-19 vaccines to NHS hospitals, reports say.

Next day deliveries should only be expected Monday through Friday, provided orders are placed before 11:55 a.m., operating procedures issued to NHS Trusts warn. According to reports, an order placed on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning will not be received until Monday.

A PHE source told the Telegraph, “You need a limit or the whole system would fall over. And we agreed on the six-day week with the NHS. & # 39;

Michael Brodie, PHE's interim chief executive, said, “We provide service seven days a week and have 100 percent of NHS orders on time and complete, with routine next day deliveries six days a week with the NHS agreed and the ability to ship orders on Sundays if necessary. "

Regarding Matt Hancock's comments on the vaccine, a Department of Health source said, “As the Minister of Health said on the call, our goal is to offer the priority groups the first dose of one to four by mid-February. It's an ambitious goal, but achievable. & # 39;

Yesterday, Chief Physician Professor Chris Whitty said it was "realistic but not easy" to keep the vaccination schedule.

"In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, I believe it is prevalent, more difficult to manage because of the complicated cold chain model," he said.

"We also wanted to be very careful with both vaccines for the first two or three days, that we walked a bit slowly, just in case there were unexpected problems initially."

Mr Johnson has said 1.3 million people in the UK – including 1.1 million in England – have now got the sting. The numbers include 650,000 over 80s – or 23 percent of that group.

"This means that almost one in four of the most vulnerable groups will have a significant level of immunity in two to three weeks," said the Prime Minister.

But Tory MP David Davis said, “There is no hope in Hell that they will achieve this by mid-February. March is optimistic. I guess it will be sometime in April. We need more vaccines to be introduced.

"Anyone running a business would foresee the bottlenecks and problems with production."

A graph presented by Professor Chris Whitty showed that the number of people who tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus (blue line) appeared to be falling in London and the South East towards the end of December, although it has increased in other regions

A graph presented by Professor Chris Whitty showed that the number of people who tested positive for the new variant of the coronavirus (blue line) appeared to be falling in London and the South East towards the end of December, although it has increased in other regions

Downing Street released a series of slides showing the country's problem with the new variant of the virus - the evidence that appears to have compelled Mr Johnson to make his last extraordinary U-turn

Downing Street released a series of slides showing the country's problem with the new variant of the virus – the evidence that appears to have compelled Mr Johnson to make his last extraordinary U-turn

Shortage of glass vials and delays in approval – is this stopping the Covid-19 vaccine drive?

By Kate Pickles, health correspondent for The Daily Mail

This year's GCSE and A-Level exams are being canceled after Boris Johnson failed to guarantee that classes would return before summer. Instead, the grades predicted by the teachers should be used.

GCSE and A-Level students will again have to decide from their teachers with grades this summer after a furious argument broke out last night over the decision to cancel exams for the second year in a row.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has been heavily criticized because there is no concrete plan to replace exams.

A former chief inspector of Education Guard Ofsted alleged that Mr. Williamson "did a lot wrong" while top private schools said it was "premature" to cancel exams.

The students are now in limbo as a new system is being worked out. The Examination Inspectorate Ofqual is asked to initiate a consultation before making a decision.

The process will mean that students will likely wait weeks – if not months – for a plan, although there is strong suspicion that the grades given by teachers will play a crucial role.

Britain vaccinated 1.3 million people in just under a month … but the goal is two million a week.

This is the rate needed to protect the four most vulnerable groups by February 15 – including anyone over the age of 70.

Boris Johnson has blamed regulators for the sluggish start and warns that their strict protocols have limited the acceleration of the vaccination program.

Economic Secretary Alok Sharma had promised in May that 30 million doses of the vaccine from Oxford and AstraZeneca would be ready by September. Now, four months after that deadline, our stocks are still below the target of two million a week.

Speaking of the vaccination campaign, the Prime Minister said, “The rate limiting the factor at the moment ensures that we can get enough vaccine where we want it, quickly enough.

As you know, one of the problems is that the AstraZeneca vaccine has to be properly batch tested and approved before it can be put into people's arms. This is just a process that will take some time … but we'll be ratcheting it up over the next few days and weeks. & # 39;

Another serious difficulty is the global demand for glass vials. In addition, those who wish to join an army of volunteers to step up the national effort have gotten themselves caught up in tons of red tape.

Ministers insist that the NHS will be able to deliver two million cans a week – once it receives supplies from manufacturers that have been vetted by regulators. The Medicines and Health Products Regulator (MHRA) insists it can run batch tests – but has waited to receive more doses from manufacturers.

Chris Whitty, chief medical officer, told the Downing Street press conference yesterday that the six-week goal was "realistic but not easy". What are the main hurdles when the UK takes the biggest vaccination drive in its history?

Is the batch test too slow?

Each batch must be tested for quality by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), part of the MHRA. The process can take up to 20 days.

1.1 million Brits have Covid, including one in 30 Londoners. ONS figures show the UK recorded another 830 deaths, with daily cases topping 60,000 for the first time

One in 30 Londoners had Covid-19 last week, according to "shocking" new estimates.

Around 1.1 million people in private households in England – the equivalent of about 2.06% of the population, or one in 50 people – had coronavirus between December 27 and January 2, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) .

It is estimated that one in 30 people in private households in London – more than 290,000 people – had the virus over the same period, ONS figures show.

Data from the Covid-19 infection survey shows an increase of 800,900 people, or one in 70 people estimated to have the virus over the period December 17-23.

This does not apply to people staying in hospitals, nursing homes or other institutional facilities.

Yesterday the UK announced another 830 Covid deaths as official statistics show the number of daily deaths has more than doubled from the previous week.

Health ministry chiefs also saw a record number of daily cases, with 60,916 new infections adding to the ever-growing number of cases.

Yesterday's deaths represent a 107.7 percent increase from the 414 victims announced last Tuesday, who were likely hit by a delay in recording over the Christmas weekend. While daily infections are up 14.6 percent from 53,135 a week ago.

Passengers coming to the UK will require a negative Covid test within 72 hours of their scheduled departure, which will be announced "this week". This raises fears that the British might return to the UK

Passengers attempting to get to the UK must have a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departure. Otherwise they will be denied flying.

Boris Johnson said ministers would take steps to ensure people arriving in the country are free of Coviden.

Government sources told MailOnline that the details of the policy were being "solidified".

An announcement is expected in a few days, with rules expected to be in effect by the end of the week.

It has raised fears that there will be a rush of Brits – like Vogue Williams at St. Barts and Amber Turner of Towie in Dubai – trying to get home.

But Labor and some senior Tory MPs called for further action when England went through its third national lockdown.

It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel was accused of leaving the "doors of the nation unlocked" to alert new coronavirus variants.

Meanwhile, ministers have been criticized by the travel industry for having plans to test passengers for Covid-19 before they arrive.

A sample from each batch of vaccine, which can contain hundreds of thousands of doses, is biologically tested for quality and safety.

Manufacturers must also run their own tests for each lot before submitting the results to the NIBSC for evidence. Delays in providing these details – or non-compliance with standards – can slow the whole process down.

Only when both series of tests have been completed and the manufacturer's results are considered acceptable is a batch approved by the regulatory authorities for use by the NHS.

More cans are now being produced, adding to the workload for laboratories performing quality control. An MHRA spokesperson said: “We are working closely with the manufacturer (Oxford vaccine) AstraZeneca to ensure that batches of the vaccine are released as quickly as possible.

"NIBSC has expanded its capacity to ensure that multiple lots can be tested at the same time, as quickly as possible without compromising quality and safety."

Some observers have indicated that the MHRA has succeeded in speeding up the process in which Covid vaccines were approved for use. Critics may ask why this is not possible at this stage either.

Are there enough vials?

Given the massive global demand for vaccines, pharmaceutical companies warned of a possible shortage of vials back in May.

The tubes are made of borosilicate glass, which keeps the vaccines in the required stable state during storage and transport. The glass is chemically inert, which means that there is no interaction between the container and the liquid it contains. This is vital as chemical interference can affect the vaccine. Only a handful of companies produce the vials, with Schott being one of the leading manufacturers in Germany.

Industry insiders have suggested that the UK must ramp up production itself to avoid having to rely on foreign companies. Dave Dalton, chairman of the board of directors of the British Glass trade association, said the supply chain "needs to be strengthened and improved," adding that medical glass and vial supplies were something the industry had built itself – and is ready to resolve to help .

Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, suggested that problems with so-called filling and end materials, including glass vials, could hamper the introduction of the vaccine. "The only thing that will slow us down is batches of vaccines becoming available," he said during a briefing on Downing Street. “Many of you already know that it's not just about making vaccines. It's all about filling and finishing, which is an extremely short resource worldwide. & # 39; The Ministry of Health denies that there is a shortage of vials.

The UK has made around 15 million doses of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine to date, with plants in Germany and the Netherlands supplying more of the early batches. However, only four million cans have gone through the filling and final process – and are still waiting for MHRA approval.

Do we have enough people to shove?

Retired doctors have complained that bureaucracy has prevented them from returning to the front lines to dispense Covid vaccines.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised to address the problem. Some potential volunteers requested 21 documents showing that they were trained in areas such as counterterrorism and racial equality.

Tens of thousands of vaccines are available if further doses can be given, according to the NHS England. The army includes health care workers such as physical therapists, nurses and paramedics who were given the green light to administer shocks following a rule change this summer.

An NHS spokesman said there were "thousands more" in training but added that the health service was confident it had enough staff to fill the vaccination program as it expanded. Paramedics from the armed forces are also to be deployed.

Are Checks Too Long?

BUREAUCRACY has also been accused of slowing down the actual vaccination process as patients face lengthy questions about their medical history.

Some say they received a 15-minute medical questionnaire over the phone before being asked for many of the same details on arrival.

After vaccination, patients should be monitored for 15 minutes to make sure they are not experiencing any side effects. This means the entire process can take around 45 minutes. Doctors have suggested streamlining this as it severely limits the number of vaccines that can be dispensed in a given location on a given day.

People line up outside a Covid-19 vaccination center at Guys Hospital in London on Tuesday

People line up outside a Covid-19 vaccination center at Guys Hospital in London on Tuesday

What about the manufacturers?

Pharmaceutical companies have hit back on every suggestion that they are responsible for delays.

Pfizer and BioNTech – makers of the first MHRA approved vaccine – said they have now shipped "million" doses to the UK, with up to 40 million expected in the coming months.

AstraZeneca has confirmed that it is expected to be able to deliver two million doses of the Oxford vaccine to the NHS weekly through the second half of this month, with at least 20 million due by the end of March. The jab was previously only available in hospital centers – but GP surgeries will participate in the rollout tomorrow.

The double-dip recession is on the way: Lockdown 3 will cost us £ 390 million a day after the UK closes … fueling fears of financial Armageddon

  • Today a think tank warned the country's first quarter production will be £ 24.57 billion lower than without the recent national lockdown
  • Experts predict it will cost £ 390 million in February if it is canceled in February
  • Economists say the lockdown will hit the economy harder than the November restrictions
  • The pandemic dragged the UK into its first recession in eleven years in early 2020

The UK is facing its first double-dip recession since 1975, with the most recent lockdown expected to cost nearly £ 400 million a day.

Production in the first quarter of this year will be £ 24.57 billion lower than without the third national lockdown, a think tank warned yesterday.

The Center for Economic and Enterprise Research (CEBR) predicts the lockdown being lifted in mid-February, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes will have cost the UK £ 390 million every working day.

According to the forecast group Oxford Economics, production is likely to shrink by more than 4 percent in the first three months of the year.

Although the economy should recover later as the introduction of the Covid vaccine allows stores and restaurants to reopen, experts have already started lowering their growth projections for 2021.

Left: Carnaby Street in Soho, London at 11am today which is usually full

Left: Carnaby Street in Soho, London at 11am today which is usually full

The coronavirus is believed to have hit GDP worst since the Great Freeze of 1709

The coronavirus is believed to have hit GDP worst since the Great Freeze of 1709

Government borrowing could reach nearly £ 400 billion this year and is expected to stay at staggering levels through the mid-2020s as experts warn of a double-dip recession looming

Government borrowing could reach nearly £ 400 billion this year and is expected to stay at staggering levels through the mid-2020s as experts warn of a double-dip recession looming

It is feared that the UK is now pursuing the downside scenario set by the OBR watchdog in late November after the mutated coronavirus forced a new lockdown

It is feared that the UK is now pursuing the downside scenario set by the OBR watchdog in late November after the mutated coronavirus forced a new lockdown

Howard Archer from the EY Item Club's economic forecasting group had previously expected 6.2 percent growth in 2021.

However, given the bleak start to 2021, he doubts that production – or gross domestic product (GDP) – will grow by more than 5.5 percent.

Mr Archer said: “With restrictions currently in place in most regions of the UK, the EY Item Club expects the economy to have a challenging start to 2021 and is expected to see a slight decline in the first quarter. This would lead to a double recession. "

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, and a new one would mark the UK's first double-dip recession since 1975, when the banking sector was in crisis and the country was rocked by a series of strikes.

The pandemic dragged the UK into its first recession in eleven years early last year.

The country had a brief hiatus in the third quarter when the first lockdown was lifted and the Eat Out to Help Out program encouraged the British to spend.

However, the economy is expected to have contracted again in the last three months of 2020 as the Covid restrictions were reintroduced.

Last month, the Bank of England forecast a 1 percent decline in the final quarter of 2020. However, Mr. Archer believes the decline could be closer to 2 percent.

Ghost Highway: A nearly empty M1 near Leeds at 8:15 am today as the lockdown begins

Ghost Highway: A nearly empty M1 near Leeds at 8:15 am today as the lockdown begins

Empty Manchester streets on the first day of the new Covid lockdown as people stay home

Empty Manchester streets on the first day of the new Covid lockdown as people stay home

Another decline in the first three months of 2021 will push the UK back into recession.

Allan Monks, an economist at investment bank JP Morgan, said the third lockdown would "hit the economy harder than the November restrictions.

While the decline is smaller than the huge drop in GDP during the lockdown last spring when the economy collapsed by almost a fifth, it comes because production is still struggling.

Even in the third phase, the economy is already around 11 percent below what it should have been. Concerns about the UK's weak growth have re-fueled speculation that the Bank of England might cut interest rates to minus to encourage spending rather than save.

The bank's base rate is already at a record low of 0.1 percent. If it went negative, customers would be effectively paying to keep their money in the bank.

Despite the gloomy predictions, there are some trails of light at the end of the tunnel. Mr Archer said, "We expect the economy will gradually benefit from the vaccine rollout through 2021."

Mr. Monks added, "We expect GDP will not be significantly lower by the end of this year due to a successful introduction of vaccines."

A year-end improvement, however, may come too late for the stationery chain Paperchase, which yesterday warned it was on the verge of collapse and putting 1,500 jobs at risk.

Given the government's financial position, the alarm is growing. IFS Director Paul Johnson said the extent of the economic damage was the worst "in all of history".

Given the government's financial position, the alarm is growing. IFS Director Paul Johnson said the extent of the economic damage was the worst "in all of history".

Ghost Town: Plymouth city center in Devon was deserted this morning when the third lockdown begins

Ghost Town: Plymouth city center in Devon was deserted this morning when the third lockdown begins

The 127-branch company confirmed that it filed a notice appointing administrators protecting it from creditors for ten working days so it can prepare a bailout plan.

The government's coronavirus restrictions were said to have "put an unbearable strain on business." The Christmas season closing followed by the final lockdown proved the final straw.

Paperchase signed a bailout deal with creditors in 2019, but the pandemic hoped for a turnaround. Many stores are located in airports and other transportation hubs that have suffered from the decline in commuter numbers.

The company's decision to take steps toward management follows poor sales in November and December due to widespread store closures.

These two months alone normally generate two fifths of the annual turnover. An increase in online sales was insufficient to cushion the blow.

A spokesman said: "We have acted well out of lockdown, but as the country faces further restrictions in the coming months, we need to find a sustainable future for Paperchase."

“We are working hard to find this solution. This is not the situation we wanted to be in. Our team has been fantastic and we cannot thank them enough. "

A number of retailers have pulled themselves together in the face of the pandemic.

Despite government support for employee vacation, easing business rates and eviction protection, Topshop owner Arcadia, department store chain Debenhams and Monsoon Accesorize were among the victims last year.

Boris Johnson promises daily updates on UK Covid vaccine campaign while the NHS designs high street giants Superdrug and Boots to deliver bursts in stores – but is Prime Minister too promising again?

  • The Prime Minister promised to keep the public informed about the mass vaccination program against Covid
  • Three Morrisons parking lots and three boat shops will be converted into temporary vaccination centers starting next Monday
  • Tesco has offered its warehouses and trucks to move bumps, while BrewDog has volunteered its closed pubs
  • Number 10 has pledged to vaccinate around 13 million of the most vulnerable Britons by the middle of next month

Which street chains have offered to help and which have been approved?

Several retail chains are in talks with the government to help them introduce the vaccine.

So far, however, only Boots, Superdrug and Morrisons have been allowed to dispense cans.

Approved::

Boots – three sites next week, with more to come.

Superdrug – five sites starting next week, ten more to be approved.

Morrisons – As of Monday, three parking spaces were converted into drive-through vaccination clinics, with more on standby if required.

In talks:

Tesco – offered to use its trucks and warehouses for logistics.

The pub chains Brewdog, Young & # 39; s, Marston & # 39; s and Loungers offered to use closed pubs as temporary clinics.

Boris Johnson tonight pledged to keep the nation informed of Britain's great Covid vaccination drive every day starting next week as the NHS urged the high street giants to drastically speed up the program in hopes of meeting the target of 2 million a week to achieve.

The prime minister admitted "long weeks" to come and called on England to hold on to the nation's third lockdown. He vowed to keep the public informed of the mass vaccination program, which is the only way out of the endless cycle of lockdowns.

Mr Johnson said at a press conference on Downing Street that starting Monday health chiefs would be offering daily updates "so you can see how much progress we are making day in and day out".

His promise comes after Sir Keir Starmer sent a warning shot about his promise, claiming it was another example of # 10 going to be "promising and underserved" if it fails. The Labor leader said expanding the program – which has vaccinated 1.3 million people in one month so far – is a "struggle" and there is "no room for error".

MailOnline also announced today that the government will use superdrug aid to vaccinate 13 million Britons by mid-February. Shops in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Guildford and Basingstoke are just waiting for the cans to be dropped off to start distributing next week.

If needed, ten more sites are ready across the UK. Each store can inject 1,000 people each week and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Patients are referred to the clinics through the normal NHS booking service, and vaccinations are administered in-store by trained pharmacists and nurses.

Boots is converting three of its pharmacies in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester into vaccination clinics to support the program. More will follow. While Morrisons announced that three of its parking lots will be converted into drive-through vaccination centers starting Monday.

Meanwhile, Tesco has been offering its warehouses and trucks to speed up dosing across the country, and the craft brewer BrewDog has claimed it is in talks with ministers about turning its closed bars into temporary jab hubs. Pub chains are also campaigning for the introduction of the mass vaccination program to get life back to normal by spring. Companies like Young & # 39; s, Marston & # 39; s, and Loungers are offering their venues as potential locations.

The English chief physician Professor Chris Whitty said the expansion of the vaccination program was "realistic, but not easy". He added, "The NHS will have to use multiple channels to get this out, but they are very determined to do it, but that doesn't make it easy."

In the same briefing in which Mr Johnson revealed that the spread of the mutated version of the disease made lockdown impossible to avoid, Professor Whitty also delivered a grim message that some restrictions may still be needed next winter as the virus is likely would be on a regular basis like flu.

The prime minister admitted "long weeks" to come and called on England to hold on to the nation's third lockdown. He promised to keep the public informed about the mass vaccination program

The prime minister admitted "long weeks" to come and called on England to hold on to the nation's third lockdown. He promised to keep the public informed about the mass vaccination program

Superdrug and Boots are expected to hand out thousands of bumps next week as the parking lots at Morrisons Supermarket are converted into drive-through vaccination centers starting Monday. Meanwhile, Tesco has been offering its warehouses and trucks to speed up dosing across the country, and the craft brewer BrewDog has claimed it is in talks with ministers about turning its closed bars into temporary jab hubs. Pub chains are also campaigning for the introduction of the mass vaccination program to get life back to normal by spring. Companies like Young & # 39; s, Marston & # 39; s, and Loungers are offering their venues as potential locations

Superdrug and Boots are expected to hand out thousands of bumps next week as the parking lots at Morrisons Supermarket are converted into drive-through vaccination centers starting Monday. Meanwhile, Tesco has been offering its warehouses and trucks to speed up dosing across the country, and the craft brewer BrewDog has claimed it is in talks with ministers about turning its closed bars into temporary jab hubs. Pub chains are also campaigning for the introduction of the mass vaccination program to get life back to normal by spring. Companies like Young & # 39; s, Marston & # 39; s, and Loungers are offering their venues as potential locations

World Leader: Israel has already given a first dose to nearly 1.4 million of its 8.7 million residents and plans to have a fifth of its population fully vaccinated by the end of January. The rapid rollout contrasts with the delays that have hampered the process in Europe and the US

World Leader: Israel has already given a first dose to nearly 1.4 million of its 8.7 million residents and plans to have a fifth of its population fully vaccinated by the end of January. The rapid rollout contrasts with the delays that have hampered the process in Europe and the US

If, if, if, if … how likely is it that No10 will vaccinate 13 million Brits by mid-February?

Boris Johnson last night promised 13.2 million nursing home residents, those over 70, frontline health workers and Britons classified as "at risk" by mid-February to give a dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

It is the first time the government has set a target number of vaccinations for fear that No. 10 will dispense doses too slowly to lift restrictions by Easter, which the Prime Minister believed possible.

But the prime minister added a number of caveats to his goal, saying that it would depend on whatever goes in the government's favor.

His comments came after experts warned the UK might not be coronavirus restrictions free until next winter unless the NHS hits its ambitious goal of vaccinating 2 million people each week.

There are still big questions about whether the NHS will be able to hit 2 million thrusts a week. Scientists say Britain has to be "very fast" to hope for a normal summer.

The heads of AstraZeneca are committed to delivering the weekly dosing milestone by mid-January. And the NHS has promised that they can hand them out asap.

However, there already seem to be cracks in the supply chain. Only 530,000 doses of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine will be available for vulnerable people this week, despite officials promising at least 4 million just weeks ago.

UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has warned that vaccine availability "will remain so for several months" as companies struggle to keep up with global demand.

In today's news conference, Mr Johnson discussed the vaccine's launch and said the total number of the top four JCVI groups was slightly higher than the aforementioned target of 13 million.

He said, “We will do it as soon as possible. As you know, we have set the target by mid-February. Yes, it is a tremendous effort, the largest vaccination program in the history of this country. & # 39;

Mr Johnson added that this will require the combined efforts of the NHS and the armed forces, and that every part of the government is working "absolutely relentlessly" on the introduction.

He said the rate-limiting factor is "making sure we can get enough vaccine where we want it, quickly enough".

More details on the number of vaccinations received will be announced on Thursday and published daily starting Monday, he said.

He added, "We're going to try to break down some of these numbers for people so everyone can see which groups are receiving the vaccine and how it's being distributed across the country."

He said it was something of "massive national interest" as he was committed to "being as transparent as possible".

No10 has pledged to vaccinate around 13 million of the most vulnerable Brits – including nursing home residents and workers, NHS workers and anyone over 70 – by mid-February in hopes of easing the most draconian curbs. The mammoth goal would require vaccination of around 2 million people a week.

However, there are serious doubts as to whether the goal is achievable as it has been slow on its way and the NHS has the largest vaccination program in UK history with the greatest crisis it has ever faced as Covid patients continue , reconcile needs pouring into hospitals.

The record number of employee absences and strict infection control measures are also making the work of frontline health workers difficult.

The NHS has refused to meet the two million target due to potential vaccine supply shortages, staffing concerns and other logistical hurdles.

There's also a suggestion that health bosses want to distance themselves from the government's arbitrary goals because it failed to meet numerous goals during the pandemic, including increasing daily smear capacity and expanding NHS Test and Trace.

If the 13 million pledge is to be kept, the NHS will have to move four times faster than its winter flu vaccination program.

Sir Keir Starmer today sent a warning shot to Boris Johnson about the Prime Minister's ambitious goal of vaccinating 13 million Britons by mid-February, claiming if that fails it will be another example of the promising and underserved No. 10

Sir Keir Starmer today sent a warning shot to Boris Johnson about the Prime Minister's ambitious goal of vaccinating 13 million Britons by mid-February, claiming if that fails it will be another example of the promising and underserved No. 10

How Israel made a leap forward in the race for the Covid vaccine

Israel has made a leap forward in the global vaccine race by squeezing every last dose out of its vaccine supply and using its efficient health system to launch a 24-hour vaccination campaign with military aid – with Benjamin Netanyahu making himself as visible as possible does as he promises. Re-election in March.

About 1.4 million Israelis had already received a dose of Pfizer / BioNTech, with nearly a sixth of the 8.7 million population immunized against Covid-19 in less than three weeks.

On Monday alone, nearly 146,000 people received the bump – more than some western countries including Italy, Spain and Canada have distributed in total – with bumps being issued in sports arenas and military reservists drafted to help.

While only Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines have been used to date, Israel has already signed contracts with Moderna and AstraZeneca before any of the stings were approved.

It has also split up its vaccine supplies to take to remote areas, and some of its health workers have even taken extra doses from the vials they receive.

In addition, the Israelis have been promised digital “green passports” that will allow them to bypass certain blocking rules once they have received both cans.

Health Ministry director general Hezi Levy said that by the end of this month around a fifth of Israel's population would have had both shots.

"By the end of January we will have vaccinated two million people, most of them elderly," he said.

Figures show that only 11.68 million people eligible for a free flu shot by their GP in England got one last winter at the rate of 470,000 per week. For comparison: The speed of the entire UK Covid vaccination drive, which until yesterday was based on just one vaccine, is 330,000 per week.

In order to vaccinate all 13 million Britons in the four most vulnerable categories by mid-February, the NHS operation will need to be sped up six times to 2 million a week. Only 1 million doses have been given out so far, which means there are around 12 million left to be vaccinated in the 41 days between now and February 15.

That corresponds to around 290,000 per day. It is important that people are vaccinated 12 days before the measures are relaxed as it takes 12 days for the vaccines to start working. Health ministry statistics dated December 27 show that 944,539 doses were dispensed in the 20 days after it went live – at a rate of around 47,000 per day.

Top experts told MailOnline that there was "no evidence" that the government would be able to deliver the two million doses a week and suggested that the government dangle the carrot of the vaccines to beat the blow latest lockdown, while MPs said the target was "dubious".

When will we escape the recurring Covid nightmare? Top experts give their judgments

As the UK slips into its third national lockdown, many are wondering if the Covid nightmare will ever end.

Here we ask some of the leading scientific experts in the country to consult their crystal balls and give you their views on how and when we could get back to normal …

PULL UP AND GET A JAB SO THAT SUMMER IS SAVED

Dr. Paul McKay, vaccine researcher at Imperial College Medical School

While this latest banning notice is desperate given the rapidly increasing hospital and infection rates, it certainly seems necessary.

While the logistics of getting out of all of this are daunting, I believe it is possible to get the UK back to almost normal within six months.

The government plans to vaccinate two million people each week, starting with the oldest and most at risk. This would depend on exceptional efficiency. But I believe it can be done.

To date, around 1,000 locations across the UK have been selected to have vaccinations. Therefore, they each have to process 2,000 vaccines per week to reach that two million goal. That's 400 bumps a day, five days a week … or about one a minute during the work day.

It would be impossible for one person to handle this safely. But one every 20 minutes is possible. So we need an average of 20 people giving vaccines in each center.

And at that rate, the entire population of 66 million Britons could be treated in eight months. It's ambitious, but not impossible. And here's a boost: not everyone needs a vaccine right away.

The current dogma is that, for example, the 11.75 million children in Britain are the least at risk from this disease, so they are the last in line to be vaccinated. The virus is most dangerous in those over 80 with around 3.2 million. Add the 420,000 in nursing homes (there will be some overlap) and the three million people employed in health and social services – which makes a total of around 6.6 million. Vaccinating these groups is a top priority. Everything is going well, they should be largely protected from serious illnesses by February at some point. Hopefully this means a full lockdown is no longer necessary.

Once everyone over 65 and those with pre-existing health conditions – around 15 million Britons – are vaccinated, we should be able to go back to tier two and three restrictions with restaurants and pubs open by March or April. Trips abroad are also on the program.

In order for all restrictions to be relaxed safely, I think we need to achieve a 70 percent vaccination. That's between 45 and 50 million people – which hopefully can be achieved by the end of June. Until then, social distancing and mask wearing protocols must continue. And only when the vaccine has been made available to all who need it should we start thinking about allowing mass gatherings again.

All of the assumptions at the time, of course, depend on an extremely efficient introduction of vaccines on a scale that we have never done before. But if we all pull together and get vaccinated when it is available, the second half of 2021 may be very different from the first.

Why I'm afraid of next winter will still be difficult

Paul Hunter, Professor of Medicine at the University of East Anglia

A month ago I was very optimistic about the year ahead with the hope that the roller coaster cycle of closings and cautious reopenings would soon be over. Unfortunately, those hopes faded on December 19, when the prime minister warned of a new, much more contagious variant.

Since then, the news has gotten worse and worse, and I feel today – after that final lockdown announcement – that all the hopes we had of returning to something like normal by spring are nothing short of a pipe dream.

The problem is, we are once again faced with too many variables, not least because of the huge question mark hanging over the effectiveness of the newly minted vaccines in preventing infection. While they are undoubtedly a scientific triumph, the only thing we know for certain is that they reduce the chances of people getting seriously ill rather than contracting the infection.

The chief scientist of the World Health Organization, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said: “I don't think we have the evidence for any of the vaccines to be confident that it will prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on. & # 39;

Unfortunately, without reducing the risk of the infection spreading, we will not achieve herd immunity and unimmunized individuals will continue to be at risk of contracting the virus.

This, combined with the ongoing uncertainty about the new, more contagious South African variant and its response to the vaccine, means draconian restrictions like those announced by Boris Johnson last night are likely to persist well into spring and beyond. Looking ahead, I fear that next winter will be difficult too, with further increases in cases, hospitalizations and deaths and likely further restrictions.

It won't be as bad as the year we were, but we are very far from the forest and there are too many switching parameters for me to be too optimistic.

MASS TESTS SAVE THE FESTIVALS

Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at Edinburgh University

With a tight lockdown, things should be moving in the right direction in late January, but there won't be much of an impact on the R-Rate until mid-February. We may live with severe restrictions until the end of next month. At the beginning of March we should see that the vaccination program is having some effect. And if the government manages to vaccinate every nursing home by the end of January, for example, we should see the effects by the end of February.

I am optimistic that hospital admissions will have dropped dramatically from May to June. If the vaccination program is going well, everyone over 50 with underlying health conditions should be vaccinated by then – this group is responsible for 95 percent of Covid deaths. If we can get the R-rate well below one and only see new cases occasionally, we could have a summer closer to normal. But mass gatherings like festivals can only happen if there are mass tests – people should have a negative test within 72 hours of attending. International travel should also improve if we could have airport tests and retests done, linked to an appropriate quarantine system, and assisting those isolating. But only when the vaccine is introduced worldwide will we be able to travel freely between countries again – and that will go beyond 2021.

WE HAVE TO IMPROVE TRACK AND TRACK

Hugh Pennington, Professor Emeritus of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen

Obviously, there is still a long, hard journey ahead of us in the fight against Covid-19. I believe we can only hope to get back to some form of normal by Christmas, and even that distant goal depends on a number of factors, most notably the success of the planned vaccination program.

Their achievement depends in part on the ability of manufacturers to meet the enormous demand. This task is made difficult not only by the pressure on global supply lines, but also by the requirement that each batch must be approved by regulators.

But even if the vaccines are available in sufficient quantities, getting them into the arms of the public will be an enormous logistical operation. Then we will also have to address admission concerns, especially among young people who are at low risk of serious illness, even if they contract Covid and therefore may refuse to be vaccinated.

Vaccines will also not produce an immediate, dramatic reduction in infections. This is because the priority groups who are vaccinated first – healthcare workers, nursing home residents, the elderly and the vulnerable – are not super-disseminators. In fact, many of them are already protecting.

Only when the vaccines are given to those under 50 will it have a really significant impact – and it can take some time.

There are still many unknowns. For example, how long is immunity for each vaccinated person – six months, two years, five years? And what about new mutations and variants that are imported from abroad? The scale of the problem means that tough interim measures will be required in the coming months, including wearing masks, social distancing, tight controls on international travel and, regrettably, a complete lockdown.

However, locks only work temporarily. Once picked up, the virus spreads. So this time there has to be an enormous improvement in tests and track & trace. This is our only path to security – and freedom.

There are concerns that the program is being hampered by problems and that the national shutdown could take much longer than ministers promised. For comparison, the first lockdown in March lasted more than three months, despite the fact that the British were told it would only last a few weeks.

Professor Whitty also said tonight that by widening the gap between coronavirus bursts, there is an increased "theoretical risk" of developing an "escaped mutant" of the virus.

"That's a real concern, but a pretty minor real concern within the system," he said.

'The general view has been that the magnitude of the increase in risk is so small that, measured by that ability to double the number of people actually vaccinated, the public health case is really strong for doing what we decided to do to have."

He added, “If we had an infinite vaccine, we might have taken other approaches, but we don't.

& # 39; At this point, for the next three to four months, the number of vaccines available will limit our ability to get through the 25 to 30 million people we have to do.

"While this is such a fast-paced virus at this point, our view on the risk was very strong that the benefits to the UK at this point in the epidemic were for us for it."

While Sir Patrick Vallance said it is possible that the South African variant of the coronavirus could have some impact on the effectiveness of the vaccine, it is unlikely to "cancel" its effects.

The chief scientific advisor told the press conference on Downing Street that a possible change in the form of the virus in the variant "theoretically carries a bit more risk of not being recognized by the immune system".

“There is still nothing to suggest that this is the case. This is being checked very actively, ”he said.

“It's worth noting that when you give a vaccine you don't just make one antibody to one bit, you make a lot of antibodies to many different bits. Therefore, mutations are unlikely to escape all of this. But we don't know yet.

“At the moment one would say that the most likely thing is that this would not negate the vaccine effect. It can have an overall impact on effectiveness, but we don't know. & # 39;

Sir Keir called on No10 to keep the promise to introduce the vaccine and told the BBC this morning that there was now a "race against time" to expand the UK's vaccination program during the lockdown.

The Labor leader has backed Boris' plans to vaccinate the top four priority groups by mid-February so that worst restrictions can be relaxed by March, despite saying it was "a struggle".

He added, “This is a race against time and we all hope that it can happen in this seven week period. There is no room for government error here. We cannot be more promising and underserved. & # 39;

Supermarkets, pharmacies and breweries have offered to offer the UK's great vaccine against coronavirus. According to the manager of the supermarket chain, three Morrisons parking spaces will be converted into drive-through centers for Covid vaccinations from Monday. Another 47 are on standby if ministers need them.

Boots is transforming three of its pharmacies into vaccination sites in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester starting next week. Tesco has offered its warehouses and trucks to make dosing quick across the country. The craft brewer BrewDog has also claimed it is in talks with ministers about converting its closed bars into temporary vaccination centers.

University of Bristol's top epidemiologist Professor Gabriel Scally told MailOnline that he was doubtful about the government's ability to deliver on their vaccination promises, adding, "I haven't seen enough details or evidence on how they're going to do this for me am confident. & # 39;

He added: “The vaccination program is bright, but it needs to be well organized. I am concerned about the lack of local NHS organization. There are no regional or local health authorities that could run these programs.

“The lack of local organization is one of the real problems the government has always had, and that is why ministers have chosen the easy way of giving Serco and private companies Test and Trace.

“We must not forget that the government had to be put on hold yesterday because of a wave of cases in the coming weeks, and that will be our top priority.

& # 39; The NHS will fight two fronts (roll out the thrusts and fight Covid) which is very risky. I would never plan it that way in a million years.

“We've known vaccines for months and months, there were over 200 in production, and we knew most would need two doses.

“But we seem to have figured out the rules over time, all of these questions about getting vaccines, where to get them and who to get them should have been worked out and how many doses.

"It's a terrible situation we're in. It looks like the government is making everything up, it's purely reactive with no strategy."

"If we had acted more firmly and earlier (with lockdown) we would have had the capacity and space in every way to run a highly efficient, successful vaccination program."

Michael Gove today warned strongly that the lockdown will not be gradually lifted until March – and that the schedule will depend on the government achieving its ambitious vaccination targets.

The Cabinet Minister admitted there was no "certainty" that the brutal pressures Boris Johnson put on England last night will be eased in late February, as hoped.

The Prime Minister has set himself the goal of giving more than 13 million vulnerable people first doses of vaccine over the next seven weeks, although doubts have already been expressed as to whether this is possible.

But Mr Gove warned that even in the best case scenario, not all of the curbs will go away as he long-term prepared the weary public for the rapidly spreading new variant of the coronavirus.

In a round of interviews, Mr Gove said that a review of the situation would take place at mid-February.

"We hope we can gradually lift the restrictions after that, but I can't predict – no one can predict – exactly what we can relax and when," he told Sky News.

"We know that the more effective our vaccination program, the easier it will be to lift these restrictions, the more people are protected in this way."

The grave reservations came as Labor brushed off that the prime minister had "over-promised" vaccination hopes when it made another extraordinary U-turn by putting the country into a March-style lockdown, saying the NHS was risking within Weeks of being overrun if he doesn't act.

Just a day after urging parents to send their children back, Mr Johnson stated in a grim address from No. 10 that elementary and secondary schools will be closed starting today and only the vulnerable and offspring of key workers will be allowed to enter.

Kindergartens can remain open. However, university students are instructed to stay at home and study remotely, while GCSE and A-level exams do not go as planned.

Teens may not know how to replace their exams for weeks and Ofsted is expected to launch a consultation, despite government sources saying some contingency plans have already been considered.

The new guidelines, which will be released overnight and are not strictly necessary, will have to close all hospitality, gyms and swimming pools. Rishi Sunak is due to present another package of assistance today as fears about the impact on the economy mount.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are allowed to serve take-away meals. However, due to the tightening of the draconian measures last spring, they are not allowed to serve alcohol. Endangered persons are asked to shield if possible.

The public is only allowed to leave the house for one of five reasons: go to work if necessary, shop necessities, play sports – be with someone from another household, look after someone or seek medical help, or flee threats such as domestic threats Violence.

The common worship service can be continued with social distancing.

Those who break the rules can expect £ 200 for the first offense, which doubles to a maximum of £ 6,400 for further offenses.

The extraordinary third national pressure will go into effect early Wednesday morning after the rules are finalized today, but Mr Johnson urged the public to adopt the new rules now. MEPs will be voted on on Wednesday when parliament is recalled.

Union leader Keir Starmer said the move was "imperative" and that his MPs would support them and effectively guarantee their approval in the lower house. However, he criticized the government for not changing course sooner and expressed serious doubts about optimism about vaccine distribution.

"The Prime Minister said seven weeks would bring the vaccination program to 13-14 million people," said Sir Keir.

“That is the prime minister's ambition. I hope it's not too promising. It's going to be a fight and we have to do this work. & # 39;

High-ranking Tory MPs had joined the opposition and called for another national ban. However, the idea of ​​tightening restrictions sparked anger among other Conservatives, who insist on the country's experience of the pandemic that lockdowns are not working and crippling the economy.

It is alleged that at least two MPs have since sent letters of no confidence to the Prime Minister to conservative backbench boss Sir Graham Brady – although the numbers are nowhere near the threshold to cast doubt on his position.

The UK Covid vaccination strategy could increase the risk of another strain of mutants

The UK's coronavirus vaccination strategy could increase the risk of another mutated strain of the virus developing by giving it more time to mutate.

Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, admitted at a briefing on Downing Street today that increasing the time between doses could allow the virus to develop.

The government last week unveiled its controversial policy of getting people a single dose of a Covid shock with no pending second.

Both vaccines approved to date – one from Pfizer and the other from Oxford University – are based on two doses that are most effective, ideally three weeks apart.

To stop the devastating second wave of Covid-19, the UK has abandoned this rule and decided to extend the gap to 12 weeks so more people can get a single dose as soon as possible.

The benefit will be that millions more people will be vaccinated in the coming weeks. But it's possible the vaccines won't work as well in the long run.

Officials switched to this schedule because they want to vaccinate around 13 million people by mid-February so the locks can gradually be lifted.

And Professor Whitty said this afternoon it could also increase the risk of an "escaped mutant" version of the virus developing to withstand the immunity created by the bumps.

With his hands crossed and a desk on Downing Street last night, Mr Johnson made it clear that there is no chance they will be held for at least seven weeks – and possibly longer if the vaccine roll-out doesn't go well.

“Our hospitals have been under more pressure than ever since the beginning of the pandemic. It is clear that we need to do more while our vaccines are being rolled out, ”he said.

He said it was "not possible or fair" for exams to go ahead as usual this summer.

"The weeks ahead are going to be the toughest, but I really believe we're reaching the end of the fight," he said, promising that by mid-February the top four categories on the vaccine distribution list had their first pushes.

There are 13.2 million people in the top 4 groups on the vaccination list – nursing home residents and those over 80, frontline health workers, those over 70, and those at risk.

However, the prime minister admitted that all he could do was give assurances that the situation would improve, provided that our understanding of the virus does not change again.

He said, “By mid-February, when things are going well and there is a good wind in our sails, we expect to have given the first dose of vaccine to all of the four highest priority groups identified by the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee.

“That means that everyone in an older adult care home and their caregivers will be vaccinated, everyone over the age of 70, all frontline health and social workers, and anyone who is at extreme clinical risk.

“If we can vaccinate all of these groups, we will have removed a large number of people from the path of the virus.

"And of course that will allow us to lift many of the restrictions we have been through for so long."

Mr Johnson said he had no choice after being faced with disastrous numbers by science chiefs today about the burden on the NHS.

Hospital patients with coronavirus had risen 40 percent over a week and are now taller than when the first wave peaked.

Martin Kenyon, 91, whose interview went viral after his first vaccine dose received his second sting

Martin Kenyon, 91, has received his second dose of vaccine

Martin Kenyon, 91, has received his second dose of vaccine

A retiree whose interview went viral after his first dose of the Covid vaccine is one of the few to receive a second dose.

Martin Kenyon, 91, was one of the first people in the world to receive the vaccine last month and was interviewed on CNN as he was leaving Guy & # 39; s Hospital in London.

Mr Kenyon went viral when he described how he got his first vaccine simply by calling the hospital and booking a spot.

He said to CNN's Cyril Vanier: "I hope I won't get the bloody bug now (…). There's no point in dying after I've lived that long, right?"

Mr Kenyon has since told Sky News that he has now received his second shot, calling the advertisement for his first shot "nonsense".

He said, “It's all pretty uninteresting – I feel the same way. It's a good idea for people to have it.

& # 39; It's reasonable. More like all of the injections I've had in the 91 years of my life.

"I don't understand the medical or scientific side – but I'll do what I've been told and trust the experts."

Mr. Kenyon said that after receiving his first push, he was able to spend Christmas with his family and enjoyed reconnecting with his grandchildren.

The 91-year-old's CNN interview garnered tens of thousands of shares on social media. The fans praised the "charming gentleman" and called him a "sweetheart".

Rishi Sunak today announced further £ 4.6 billion bailouts for lockdown-hit businesses as economists warned of the "colossal" blow from the growing pandemic.

The Chancellor stated that venues made by Boris Johnson's dramatic decision will receive one-time grants of up to £ 9,000 to keep them afloat for the next seven weeks.

Around 600,000 premises across the UK are to be given the money, while an additional £ 594 million will be pumped into a "discretionary fund" to help other affected businesses.

Mr. Sunak also explicitly declined to rule out renewing the massive vacation program beyond the end of April, merely saying that he would take stock of the budget in March.

However, companies warned that the package is not enough as pressure on VAT and tax relief must be maintained to stop a wave of bankruptcies.

The latest major intervention came amid concerns that the lockdown will cut GDP by as much as 10 percent for each month it is imposed – though the respected IFS think tank said this morning the impact could be lesser as companies have adjusted since the first print in March.

It will also sound the alarm about the government's financial condition. IFS Director Paul Johnson said the extent of the economic damage was the worst "in all of history". Public sector borrowing could hit £ 400 billion this year, with Mr Sunak already warning of a later settlement to offset the books.

In his speech to the nation, the Prime Minister said the previous tiers would have been enough to tackle Covid as it was originally, but the new variant – which is 50 to 70 percent more transferable – spread in a frustrating and alarming manner.

"As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than they have ever been since the pandemic began," he said.

Mr Johnson said the number of Covid patients in hospitals in England rose by almost a third to almost 27,000 in the past week – around 40 percent more than the first high in April.

On December 29th, "more than 80,000 people across the UK tested positive for Covid" the number of deaths has increased by 20 percent in the past week "and will unfortunately continue to rise".

"With most of the country, or perhaps under extreme measures, it is clear that we must do more together to get this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out," he said.

"So in England we have to go into a national lockdown that is tough enough to contain this variant."

Mr Johnson said parents could reasonably ask why decisions about schools weren't made "earlier".

"The answer is simply that we did everything in our power to keep schools open because we know how important each day in education is to children's life chances," he said.

“And I want to emphasize that the problem is not that schools are unsafe for children. It is still very unlikely that children will be severely affected by the new variant of Covid.

"The problem is that schools can still act as vectors, causing the virus to spread between households."

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