Covid vaccine update today as Matt Hancock to unveil UK’s ‘exit out of pandemic’

Matt Hancock will update the nation today on the next phase of the UK's coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Described as the "keystone of our exit out of the pandemic", the next few weeks will be crucial in stamping out the virus among the country's most vulnerable.

The Health Secretary will hold a Downing Street press conference on Monday afternoon as seven enormous new mass vaccination sites open across England today, the Mirror reports.

These jab venues – including 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 NHS has made "fantastic strides" with the vaccine rollout, Mr Hancock said ahead of his press conference.

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"From today, the full scale of our plans will be published, so the public can be assured of the time, effort and resources that have gone and will go into ensuring we protect the British people from the scourge of this virus," he said.

The push to vaccinate the UK comes amid dire warnings in all four nations over high levels of infection and struggling hospital systems.

A rollout strategy will also be detailed in Wales. In Scotland, the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab will be available in more than 1,000 locations from Monday.

Northern Ireland already has the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines being distributed.

Trials have shown the Moderna vaccine to be 94.5% effective, the Pfizer/BioNTech jab to be 95% and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is around 70%.

In total, the UK has ordered around 370 million doses of vaccines.

Top of the list are nine different categories, based mostly on age, referred to as Phase 1 of the programme.

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Residents in care homes for older adults plus their carers are the top priority.

The second category is people over 80 as well as frontline health and social care workers.

Third on the list are all people over 75, then people over 70 plus anyone classed as extremely vulnerable due to other clinical conditions, down to the ninth grouping of people aged from 50-54.

Phase 2 deals with people whose jobs put them at risk of Covid exposure.

This could include first responders, the military, people employed in the justice system, teachers, transport workers and public servants who are critical to the fight against the pandemic.

The Government has set a target of having 15 million people vaccinated by mid-February, with every adult in the UK vaccinated by autumn.

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