Vaccination sites open 24 hours a day will be piloted in London by the end of January, as the government looks to speed up the UK’s vaccination progress against coronavirus.
Speaking on Sky News this morning minister for vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi said the UK was vaccinating 140 people per minute on average.
“You’ll see that improve as we open more of the large vaccination centres, 17 in total by this week and 50 by the end of the month,” he added.
From today people aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable will begin receiving invitations for vaccinations.
Zahawi said those aged 70 and above would only be contacted for a vaccine in areas where “the vast majority” of over-80s had already received the vaccine. He urged those age 80-plus who had not yet been vaccinated not to worry, and that they would receive a vaccine.
Zahawi also said once those aged 50 and over were vaccinated, key workers like teachers, police officers and shop workers should be top of the list.
Latest figures show the United Kingdom has vaccinated 3,857,266 people with a first dose and 449,736 with a second dose.
On over-70s being offered the vaccine in some areas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Today is a significant milestone in our vaccination programme as we open it up to millions more people who are most at risk from Covid 19.
“We have a long way to go and there will doubtless be challenges ahead – but by working together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus.”
Health secretary Matt Hancock added: “We are working day and night to make sure everyone who is 70 and over, our health and social care workers and the clinically extremely vulnerable are offered the vaccine by the middle of February and our NHS heroes are making huge strides in making this happen.”