Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given a televised update on the UK's Covid vaccine rollout this evening (Tue 5 Jan).
1 in 50 people had Covid between Christmas and New Year
Johnson began by acknowledging the "huge sacrifice" currently being made by people across the country, after a strict lockdown was implemented in much of the UK.
He revealed that, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), an estimated one in 50 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between 27 December and 2 January 2. Another 60,000 new positive cases of coronavirus were recorded today in the UK, the Prime Minister said.
He assured viewers that the Government is "using every second of this lockdown" to put an "invisible shield" around the elderly and vulnerable, via Covid vaccinations.
1.3 million vaccinations have been delivered
The PM said that more than 1.1 million people in England, and over 1.3 million across the UK, have now been vaccinated against Covid-19. This means that 23 per cent of all people over 80 years old in England have received a vaccine, he claimed.
Reiterating what he said last night (4 Jan) in a pre-recorded televised statement, Johnson repeated that, by 15 February, the NHS is committed to offering a vaccination to everyone in the top four priority groups.
These groups, as detailed on the Government website, are:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
'Maximum possible transparency' around vaccine rollout
The Prime Minister finished his statement by revealing that almost 1,000 vaccination sites will be in operation across the UK by the end of this week, with more centres opening next week in large venues, such as stadiums and exhibition centres.
He said he wanted to deliver "the maximum possible transparency" around the vaccine rollout as it continues, promising daily progress updates.
Answering questions from the press after the Prime Minister's statement, Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, said that he thought the Government's rollout plan for administering the vaccine was "realistic, but not easy."