UK coronavirus live: NHS to launch largest vaccination campaign in its history, health chief says | Politics

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Good morning. Or very good morning, to judge by the reaction to the announcement two hours ago that the UK has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid, opening the way for mass immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to begin in those most at risk next week.

My colleagues Sarah Boseley and Josh Halliday have the story here.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, has said the NHS is now about to launch “the largest-scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history”. He said:


This is an important next step in our response to the coronavirus pandemic and hospitals will shortly kick off the first phase of the largest-scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history.

The NHS has a proven track record of delivering large-scale vaccinations from the winter flu jab to BCG and, once the final hurdles are cleared and the vaccine arrives in England’s hospitals, health service staff will begin offering people this ground-breaking jab in a programme that will expand to cover the whole country in the coming months.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10am: Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, leads a coronavirus data briefing at No 10.

10.30am: Lord Sedwill, the former cabinet secretary, gives evidence to a joint Commons science/health committee hearing on coronavirus. Other witnesses include Dame Sally Davies, the former chief medical officer for England, Sir Mark Walport, the former chief scientific adviser, and Sir Oliver Letwin, the former Cabinet Office minister.

12pm: Boris Johnson faces Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs.

After 12.30pm: Matt Hancock, the health secretary, makes a Commons statement about coronavirus.

5pm: Johnson holds a press conference at No 10.

Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.

Here is our global coronavirus live blog.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK coronavirus live: NHS to launch largest vaccination campaign in its history, health chief says | Politics

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