The UK has reached a “significant milestone” in its vaccination programme following the opening of 10 new mass vaccination hubs across the nation.
Seven hubs already in use are in Etihad Tennis Centre, Manchester; Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey; Robertson House, Stevenage; Centre for Life, Newcastle; Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol; Millennium Point, Birmingham; ExCel, London.
“We are now delivering the vaccine at a rate of 140 jabs a minute and I want to thank everyone involved in this national effort. We have a long way to go and there will doubtless be challenges ahead – but by working together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus,” said Boris Johnson.
Despite making “huge progress” in the battle against the coronavirus, the prime minister expressed concern about that progress being held up by the new – currently unknown – variants of the virus.
All over-70s, as well as those listed as clinically extremely vulnerable, are the coronavirus vaccine this week. However, the Department of Health and Social care said those in the top two groups – care home residents, over-80s and frontline healthcare workers should still take precedence for vaccinations.
On Saturday, a further 298,087 received offers of the coronavirus vaccine. Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that 50 per cent of people aged 80 and over had received at least one vaccine dose so far.
Mr Hancock said: “This measure does not mean our focus on getting care homes, healthcare staff and those aged 80 and over-vaccinated is wavering – it will remain our utmost priority over the coming weeks to reach the rest of these groups.”