MATT Hancock will address the nation in a press conference at 5pm this evening as Brits over the age of 70 will be invited to have a vaccine from today.
It comes after the Health Secretary announced more than 50 per cent of over 80s have been given a jab.
Mr Hancock will appear with Susan Hopkins, the chief medical advisor for NHS Test and Trace, and Steve Powis, medical director of NHS England.
Five million over-70s and “extremely vulnerable” Brits were invited to get their Covid jab from today.
Almost 4 million people have already been given their first vaccine.
Letters will be sent to the next two priority groups as the UK jabs 140 people every minute and 10 new vaccination centres open this morning.
This group includes people who have immune conditions, cancer or have received organ transplants.
Mr Hancock said today: “More than half of all over-80s have had their #coronavirus jab, so I’m really pleased we can now offer jabs to the over 70s & the clinically extremely vulnerable.
“Total focus on getting all the most vulnerable groups jabbed by 15 February.”
And Boris Johnson said this lunchtime: “Today marks a significant milestone as we offer vaccinations to millions more people who are most at risk from COVID-19.
“We have a long way to go and there will be challenges ahead – but together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus.”
It comes as:
Mr Hancock has announced NHS England will also open 10 more mass vaccination centres.
And ministers have promised every adult will be given a vaccine by September – though this could come as soon as June.
Earlier today, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said lockdown could start to be “gradually eased” in early March, after the top four most vulnerable groups of Brits have been vaccinated.
Mr Zahawi told BBC Breakfast: “If we take the mid-February target, two weeks after that you get you your protection, pretty much, for the Pfizer/BionTech, three weeks for the Oxford AstraZeneca, you are protected.
“That’s 88 per cent of mortality that we can then make sure are people who are protected.”
Schools would be the first thing to reopen, and the tiered system will be used to relax restrictions across the UK, depending on how high infection rates are.
But the vaccine minister warned there were a “number of caveats” that stand “in the way of reopening” the country.
One game changer in Britain’s fight against coronavirus will be if the vaccine helps stop people spreading coronavirus – but it could be months until scientists can determine its impact on transmission.
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