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

Tory MPs accused Matt Hancock of downplaying the government's vaccination ambitions yesterday.

The health minister described the prospect of giving up the weakest by mid-February as a “best-case scenario”.

Many of his parliamentary colleagues were not reassured by his comments on Zoom yesterday morning.

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 left 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.

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

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. This is the only chance we have. "

A health ministry source said, “As the minister of health said in 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. "

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

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson watches Jennifer Dumasi receive a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson watches Jennifer Dumasi receive a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine during a visit to Chase Farm Hospital in north London

"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 little 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.

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

But Tory MP David Davis said, "There's no hope in Hell that they'll get 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 in production."

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

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.

Do you use London Nightingale? What a great idea!

London's Nightingale Hospital is set to serve as a hub for mass vaccinations, delivering bursts seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Work in ExCel, Europe's largest conference center, continued yesterday evening. With cases on the rise in the capital, the Docklands site has already been "reactivated" to ensure that the NHS can be relieved if necessary.

Epsom Racecourse is a landmark among other things that will provide bumps as the speed of the UK vaccination program increases.

Vaccination campaign: move barriers in the ExCel Center

Vaccination campaign: move barriers in the ExCel Center

Basics: tents on the west side of Docklands

Basics: tents on the west side of Docklands

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 that is capping the factor right now ensures that we can get enough vaccine where we want it fast 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.

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 have been classified as 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 (Oxford vaccine) maker 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.

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

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 .

Advanced nurse Justine Williams (left) prepares to administer a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to 82-year-old James Shaw, who became the first person in Scotland to receive the vaccine

Advanced nurse Justine Williams (left) prepares to administer a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to 82-year-old James Shaw, who became the first person in Scotland to receive the vaccine

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 hold us back is batches of vaccines that become available," he said during a briefing on Downing Street. "Many of you already know that it's not just about making vaccines. It's about filling and finishing, which is an extremely short resource worldwide." The Ministry of Health denies the 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.

Practice nurse Tina Sutton (left) gives Derek Davies Games a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine at Pontcae Medical Practice in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Practice nurse Tina Sutton (left) gives Derek Davies Games a dose of the AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine at Pontcae Medical Practice in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

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.

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 sent "millions" of 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.

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.


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 …


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.


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.


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.

Der wissenschaftliche Chefberater sagte der Pressekonferenz in der Downing Street, dass eine mögliche Änderung der Virusform in der Variante "theoretisch ein bisschen mehr Risiko birgt, vom Immunsystem nicht erkannt zu werden".

„Es gibt noch nichts, was darauf hindeutet, dass dies der Fall ist. Dies wird sehr aktiv geprüft “, sagte er.

„Es ist erwähnenswert, dass man bei der Verabreichung eines Impfstoffs nicht nur einen Antikörper gegen ein Bit herstellt, sondern viele Antikörper gegen viele verschiedene Bits. Daher ist es unwahrscheinlich, dass all dies durch Mutationen entgangen wird. Aber wir wissen es noch nicht.

„Im Moment würde man sagen, dass das wahrscheinlichste ist, dass dies den Impfstoffeffekt nicht aufheben würde. Es kann einen allgemeinen Einfluss auf die Wirksamkeit haben, aber wir wissen es nicht. & # 39;

Sir Keir forderte No10 auf, das Versprechen zur Einführung des Impfstoffs einzuhalten, und teilte der BBC heute Morgen mit, dass es jetzt einen „Wettlauf gegen die Zeit“ gebe, um das Impfprogramm Großbritanniens während der Sperrung zu erweitern.

Der Labour-Chef hat Boris 'Pläne unterstützt, die vier wichtigsten Prioritätsgruppen bis Mitte Februar zu impfen, damit die schlimmsten Beschränkungen bis März gelockert werden können, obwohl er sagte, es sei "ein Kampf".

Er fügte hinzu: „Dies ist ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit und wir alle hoffen, dass dies in diesem Zeitraum von sieben Wochen geschehen kann. Hier gibt es keinen Raum für Fehler der Regierung. Wir können noch nicht vielversprechender und unterversorgt sein. & # 39;

Supermärkte, Apotheken und Brauereien haben angeboten, Großbritanniens großartigen Impfstoff gegen Coronaviren anzubieten. 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.

Die britische Covid-Impfstrategie könnte das Risiko eines weiteren Mutantenstamms erhöhen

Die britische Impfstrategie gegen Coronaviren könnte das Risiko erhöhen, dass sich ein weiterer mutierter Stamm des Virus entwickelt, indem ihm mehr Zeit für die Mutation eingeräumt wird.

Professor Chris Whitty, Englands Chefarzt, gab heute bei einem Briefing in der Downing Street zu, dass eine Verlängerung der Zeit zwischen den Dosen das Virus entwickeln lassen könnte.

Die Regierung hat letzte Woche ihre umstrittene Politik vorgestellt, nach der die Menschen eine einzige Dosis eines Covid-Stoßes erhalten, ohne dass eine zweite ansteht.

Beide bisher zugelassenen Impfstoffe – einer von Pfizer und der andere von der Universität Oxford – basieren auf zwei Dosen, die am effektivsten sind, wobei sie idealerweise einen Abstand von drei Wochen haben.

Um die verheerende zweite Welle von Covid-19 zu stoppen, hat Großbritannien diese Regel aufgegeben und beschlossen, die Lücke auf 12 Wochen zu verlängern, damit mehr Menschen so schnell wie möglich eine Einzeldosis erhalten können.

Der Vorteil wird sein, dass in den kommenden Wochen weitere Millionen Menschen geimpft werden. Aber es ist möglich, dass die Impfstoffe auf lange Sicht nicht so gut funktionieren.

Beamte wechselten zu diesem Zeitplan, weil sie bis Mitte Februar rund 13 Millionen Menschen impfen wollen, damit die Sperren allmählich aufgehoben werden können.

And Professor Whitty said this afternoon it may also raise the risk that an 'escaped mutant' version of the virus evolves to resist immunity produced by the jabs.

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 has received his second jab

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

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

A pensioner whose interview went viral after his first dose of the Covid vaccine is one of few people to have received 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 left Guy's Hospital in London.

Mr Kenyon became a viral star when he described getting his first vaccine by simply phoning the hospital and booking a slot.

He told the CNN's Cyril Vanier: 'I hope I'm not going to get the bloody bug now (…) there's no point in dying when I've lived this long, is there?'

Mr Kenyon has since told Sky News he has now received his second jab and described the publicity surrounding his first jab as 'nonsense'.

He said: 'It's all rather uninteresting – I feel exactly the same. It's a good idea for people to have it.

'It's sensible. Rather like all the injections I've had all the 91 years I've lived.

'I don't understand the medical or scientific side of it all – but I do what I'm told and trust the experts.'

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

The 91-year-old's CNN interview amassed tens of thousands of shares across social media, with fans praising the 'charming gentleman' and labelling him a 'treasure.'

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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