More than 370,000 get second vaccine dose, according to NHS data

A patient receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine

NHS England advised that over-80s can ignore the letter if they would prefer to wait to be invited to attend a hospital or GP service for their vaccine, saying that there are now nearly 800 GP-led vaccination services, and these are expected to deliver the majority of the jabs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said: "If all goes well, these together should have the capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day by 15 January, and it is our plan that everyone should have a vaccination available within a radius of 10 miles".

Speaking to BBC Breakfast Whitty said, "This is a serious problem and it is rising in every part of England".

Northern Ireland's health chiefs said the number of Covid-19 patients will double by the third week of January, with one trust boss telling how "our hospitals are facing into an abyss".

NHS staff and volunteers have began administering covid-19 vaccines at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, as part of the latest stage in the government's vaccination programme.

The programme will then shift to those in the remaining priority groups, including everyone over 50 and younger people with health conditions, who should receive their first jabs by the end of April.

The expansion of the programme will also mean all adults will be offered a vaccine by the autumn.

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

'The next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS (National Health Service),' he said.

To reach that target, which will require delivering 2 million vaccines a week, the government is opening seven big vaccination centres while additional doctors' surgeries, hospitals and some pharmacies will also start delivering shots.

Who can get the vaccine?

The Health Secretary said the NHS has made "fantastic strides" with the rollout.

This historic vaccination programme is a truly national effort and shows the whole of the United Kingdom coming together to quickly and effectively protect the British public against this awful virus.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the programme is now prioritising those most vulnerable of dying from coronavirus, but that police officers, teachers and other critical workers will be in the "highest category of phase two".

Another 54,940 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,072,349, according to official figures released Sunday.

There have been calls for the government to take harder action against those who break the lockdown rules, but Zahawi said ministers did not want to "go any tougher".

Coronavirus testing is also due to ramp up across England this week, with asymptomatic people who can not work from home set to be prioritised for quick turnaround tests made available to every local authority as part of the community testing programme.



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