Published: Wed, January 13, 2021
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UK Ramps Up Covid Vaccinations As It Faces "Worst Weeks" Of Pandemic

UK Ramps Up Covid Vaccinations As It Faces

"And it's very important we actually vaccinate the maximum number of people over this really risky period over winter - the next few weeks, which are going to be the worst weeks of the pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS, we must be vaccinating as many people as we can".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a visit to a vaccination center on Monday that the country was "in a race against time" to roll out vaccines. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during a press conference Monday.

The Government's UK Covid-19 Vaccines Delivery Plan sets out how it will deliver on its ambitions alongside the NHS and Armed Forces.

In a bid to get on top of the pandemic and to try to restore some degree of normality by the spring, Britain is rushing out its largest ever vaccination programme, with shots to be offered to all those in its top four priority categories - about 15 million people - by the middle of next month.

Public Health England (PHE) is also today publishing the surveillance strategy for the COVID-19 vaccine programme which sets out how data from surveillance is used to analyse vaccine effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 and severe disease, as well as the impact of the vaccination programme on the population as a whole.

Britain was the first country to approve vaccines developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and by Pfizer/BioNTech, and on Friday approved Moderna's shot.

The Government is aiming to vaccinate nearly 14 million vulnerable people by the middle of February.

The drastic expansion of the vaccination programme means all adults will be offered a vaccine by the autumn, the DHSC say.

The U.K. opened seven mass vaccination centres Monday as it moved into the most perilous moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, with exhausted medical staff reeling under the pressure of packed hospitals and increasing admissions.

The new centres - including at a football stadium and a tennis club - will be joined later this week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total to around 1,200, NHS England said.

The Health Secretary said the NHS has made "fantastic strides" with the rollout. Our vaccine deployment plan sets out exactly how we will harness these efforts to expand the programme quickly and safely.

The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospital has reached a record high in England, while the official Government coronavirus death toll for the United Kingdom passed 81,000 at the weekend and lab-confirmed cases hit more than three million.

There have been calls for the government to take tougher action against those who break the lockdown rules, but Zahawi said ministers did not want to "go any tougher" although existing measures might be more tightly enforced.

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