Coronavirus UK news – Mass covid vaccinations WITHIN WEEKS, Matt Hancock says with centres giving 1million jabs a day

BRITAIN will set up dozens of vaccination centres to immunise people against coronavirus as soon as vaccines are available, it has been reported.

One of the first locations for administering Pfizer Inc vaccine from mid-December has been confirmed as being in Derby, the Telegraph added.

Up to one million Brits are to be vaccinated a day against coronavirus in a record-breaking push to beat the virus.

Firefighters will join a specially trained army of 40,000 extra workers recruited to roll out Pfizer jabs at record speed.

And Brits were given another boost today as Health Secretary Matt Hancocksaid the NHS is now working towards a mass rollout of a coronavirus vaccine "within a matter of weeks".

Follow our coronavirus updates below

  • Tariq Tahir


    The national debt reached a new high of £2.08 trillion after the Government borrowed a record £22.3 billion last month.

    Official figures reveal extent to which we’ll be paying for the Covid crisis in the coming years.

    October borrowing was more than double that of the same months last year.

    The Office for National Statistics said borrowing for the first seven months of the financial year is now estimated at £214.9 billion – the highest in any April to October period on record.

    It means the UK's overall debt has reached around 100.8 per cent of GDP – a level not seen since the early 1960s.

  • Tariq Tahir


    Britain's most senior police officer has said she has “no interest in interrupting family Christmas dinners” to catch Covid rule breakers.

    Speaking during an LBC radio phone-in on Friday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the force will “work with whatever the Government say are the current restrictions”.

    She was asked whether her officers would “bang on the door and count the number of people eating the turkey” during the festive period.

    “We have no powers of entry,” she replied.

  • Tariq Tahir


    Coronavirus rates are levelling out and may be starting to drop, a leading scientist has suggested.

    But Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, warned social restrictions may need to remain in large parts of England when the national lockdown ends next month to stop infection levels rebounding immediately and undoing any benefits.

    The epidemiologist, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, told the Guardian infection rates appear to be “plateauing” and may be starting to go down slowly.

  • Abe Hawken


    UK retail sales volumes in October were 1.2% higher than September, growing for the sixth consecutive month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    The ONS reported that sales were 5.8% higher than the same month last year after retailers reported consumers had started Christmas shopping earlier than usual.

    Sales volumes for the month were also 6.7% higher than in February, before the coronavirus pandemic fully impacted the UK and restrictions were placed on retailers.

  • Abe Hawken


    The toughest coronavirus restrictions in Scotland will be imposed on 11 council areas as of 6pm on Friday.

    Earlier this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the “unpalatable but necessary” step of moving parts of west and central Scotland from Level 3 to Level 4 for three weeks due to “stubbornly and worryingly high” infection rates.

    It means non-essential shops, hospitality, gyms and beauty salons will be among the businesses forced to close in these areas until December 11.

    The areas moving to Level 4 are Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian.

  • Abe Hawken


    Sports officials have given a cautious welcome to the government’s £300million ‘Winter Survival Package’ designed to mitigate the loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Eleven sports are earmarked to receive £241m in indicative funding to cover the disruption to their usual earnings over the winter, with an independent decision-making board tasked with making the final calls on who gets what.

    The remainder of the £300m, which sports minister Nigel Huddleston estimated to be £250m in loans and £50m in grants, will be kept as a contingency fund to assist with unforeseen pressures.

    England Netball chief executive Fran Connolly said the initial £2million boost for her sport came as a “huge relief” after fears the growth of the grass-roots level of the sport may be set to stall.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Up to one million Brits a day are to be vaccinated against Covid in a record-breaking push to beat the virus.

    The NHS is poised to recruit more than 40,000 extra workers to roll out the jabs.

    Firefighters will join a specially trained army of 40,000 extra workers recruited to roll out Pfizer jabs at record speed — with up to one million a day forecast.

    NHS bosses will target retired ­doctors and nurses to help, as well as other workers with first-aid skills, such as firefighters, PCSOs and ­members of the Armed Forces.

    Trainee medics and nurses, as well as other frontline health workers, will also be called upon under the radical new drive to beat the virus.

    All will receive specialist training before delivering the Pfizer vaccine to Brits — supported by an additional 30,000-strong army of St John Ambulance volunteers.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Brazil does not intend to draw up legislation that would exempt makers of COVID-19 vaccines from liability, the country's deputy health minister Elcio Franco said on Thursday.

    Franco said meetings held this week in Brasilia with vaccine developers should lead to non-binding memorandums of understanding on possible future purchases of vaccines against COVID-19.

    He said the prices and target populations will be factors in deciding any purchase

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    A British father is suffering from blindness and paralysis in a hospital in India after being bitten by a snake while battling coronavirus, his family have said.

    Ian Jones is in intensive care after being bitten by a black king cobra in a village in the north west of the country.

    The former healthcare worker, who lives on the Isle of Wight with his family, had been in India for months where he runs Sabirian, a charity-backed social enterprise aimed at helping people trade their way out of poverty.

    His family have told of their shock at what had happened in Jodhpur, Rajasthan but described Mr Jones as a “fighter”, saying they hope the blindness and paralysis are temporary.

    Mr Jones's son Seb said his father had already experienced malaria, dengue fever and Covid-19 but had “remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work to help the people that needed his support”.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    It adds: “Going on holiday, including abroad, is not a reasonable excuse to leave.

    “If it has been announced that your local authority area is about to move into either level 3 or 4 please do not then travel overseas for non-essential reasons such as a holiday.”

    However, people will be able to leave a Level 4 lockdown council – or Scotland – under law for reasons including work and shopping for food.

    People can also leave Level 3 or 4 areas and Scotland for exercise – if it's within five miles of their local authority boundary.

    And people can travel through Level 3 or 4 areas to get to other areas, or to get to another part of their own area.

    A long list of exemptions are set out in regulations as “examples of reasonable excuse”.

    The exemptions to the restrictions for Level 3 areas, and for leaving Scotland, are almost identical.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    SNP ministers today revealed unprecedented legal regulations curbing travel within Scotland and stopping people crossing the border.

    The law kicks in tomorrow at 6pm and anyone who flouts the rules will be punishable by minimum £60 fixed penalties.

    But the Scottish Tories said there were “serious legal questions” about the draft regulations, and questioned whether Holyrood had the power to say on what terms people could enter or remain in Scotland.

    Guidance accompanying the Scottish Government draft regulations says: “People who live in a Level 3 or 4 local authority area in Scotland are now required to stay in that area unless they have a reasonable excuse to travel, such as work, education, or welfare reasons.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Britain will set up dozens of mass vaccination centres to immunise people against coronavirus as soon as vaccines are available, the Telegraph reported.

    One of the first locations for administering Pfizer Inc vaccine from mid-December has been confirmed as being in Derby, the newspaper added.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Singer Jeremih remains “in critical condition at the ICU” while battling Covid as his celebrity friends beg fans worldwide for prayers.

    News originally broke on Saturday that the R&B artist had been hospitalized due to Covid-19.

    Jeremih, 33, has been fighting the disease quietly from a Chicago hospital.

    The record producer's health was initially declining after having to be put on a breathing ventilator to stabilize his condition.

    Today in a statement to Variety, the rapper's agent announced: “J was just pulled off the ventilator. He’s still in ICU in critical condition. Please keep him in your prayers.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Payment holidays are when a lender agrees to pause your monthly repayments for a set amount of time.

    This has to be agreed in advance, so don't stop making your repayments until your bank has given you permission to do so.

    Typically, payment holidays are offered in extreme circumstances and are designed as an emergency measure to help you through a difficult financial time.

    If you think you need to take one, you should speak to your lender to discuss your options – but do note that the break in payments doesn’t remove any debt or financial obligations.

    Most lenders will also still charge interest during this time, so be aware that your repayments will go up in the long-run.

    You should always continue to make your normal payments if you’re financially able to.

    Sue Anderson, head of media at debt charity StepChange, said: “If you can continue to make your normal payments without difficulty, then you should. 

    “Any temporary measures being offered by lenders don’t remove financial obligations – they are designed as an emergency measure to help you get through a period where your income may have taken a serious knock.

    “However, if you need to use them then you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your lenders. 

    “While taking a payment break would usually be noted on your credit file, the credit reference agencies have confirmed that, during the current crisis, this should not have a future influence on your credit status.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    People are most likely to catch the coronavirus at the supermarket, official data has revealed.

    Supermarkets have remained open during both national lockdowns and new data collated by Public Health England (PHE) from the NHS Test and Trace App has revealed that shops are the most frequent Covid exposure setting.

    PHE analysed data from people who contracted the virus between November 9 and November 15.

    They looked at the contacts of those who had caught the virus and retraced the steps of 128,808 people who tested positive.

    Supermarkets were the most common location of people who reported to have tested positive for the virus.

    Of those who tested positive, it was found that 18.3 per cent had visited a supermarket.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Mr Bourla said that his company had already produced 20 million doses of the Covid vaccine and were preparing for distribution as soon as global regulatory authorities gave permission.

    He said that submissions to regulators would be made within several days and that shipping would begin “a couple of hours” after being given the green light.

    The UK has secured 40 million doses in total of the vaccine, with 10 million due in the country by the end of the year if the vaccine is approved.

    Mr Bourla added that although Britain's exit from the European Union had raised some questions from businesses, he was optimistic about plans to overcome logistical problems.

    “I don't think it is a secret that our company, together with all of the corporate world, was not fascinated with the idea that the UK will separate from Europe,” he said.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    The boss of one of the companies leading the charge for a coronavirus vaccine says there is “a light at the end of the tunnel”.

    Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla – who announced results of 95 per cent efficacy in his company's vaccine – said that if vaccination was successful, normal life would return.

    Speaking to Sky News he said: “As things (are) going on, until we reach herd immunity, people need to be very careful.

    “They need to wear a mask, social distance.

    “There is light at the end of the tunnel, it's real. We never believed to have a vaccine of this efficiency so people need to be patient.

    “I believe that the second half of 2021 will be a very different experience for a lot of us.

    “I think if we will be able to vaccinate, we can go back to normal life.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Progress in driving down Ireland's rate of coronavirus infection has “stalled”, the chief medical officer has said.

    Dr Tony Holohan warned too many people were going to workplaces who could work from home and expressed concern about those with Covid-19 symptoms going into the office.

    He said a week had been lost during the spell of tough lockdown measures and urged people to reduce their number of social contacts.

    He said: “In our objective to use a six-week period to drive down Covid-19 infection in the community, our progress has stalled in the last week. “We now have two weeks to get back on track.”

    Another 429 Covid-19 cases have been detected in Ireland, the National Public Health Emergency Team said. Four more deaths have been recorded.

    Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said it was in the national character to go to work and see if symptoms go away. He warned: “It is a habit.

    “People think 'I will give it a day and see how we go'.

    “We really need a step change in how we approach symptoms like fever, coughing, shortness of breath, this winter.”

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop


    Tesco is warning customers that it's almost sold out of Christmas delivery slots – a day before they are released.

    A message on the supermarket's website says it now has “very few slots left” for deliveries on the days leading up to Christmas Day.

    The Christmas slots are due to go on general release at 7am tomorrow (Friday November 19) after delivery saver scheme customers got priority access last week.

    These early shoppers were left frustrated after having to wait hours to secure their slots in a virtual queue.

    And now non-priority customers may not be able to secure a delivery at all for the peak dates of 20-24 December which go on sale tomorrow.

    Despite making more than a million delivery slots a week available the supermarket has said there are not enough to go round.

  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop


  • Niamh Cavanagh


    France reported 21,150 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, down from 28,383 on Wednesday as pressure on the hospital system continued to ease.

    Health ministry data showed the number of people in hospital with the virus dropped by 497 to 32,345, while the number of people in intensive care with COVID-19 dropped by 122 to 4,653 over the past 24 hours.

    The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases now stands at 2,086,288.

    The number of people who have died from the disease this year rose by 429 to 47,127.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    This is the moment a Covid marshal showed lockdown flouters a yellow card in a bonkers telling-off.

    One of the marshals, wearing a red hi-vis jacket, used the football punishment on the group of rule-breakers who had been protesting.

    The yellow card system gives lockdown flouters a first warning before the police are called and fines issued.

    In the viral clip posted on the weekend, the officers can be seen speaking to the group of protesters in a park and flashing a yellow card at them – just like a football referee.

    There were a number of anti-lockdown protests taking place around the country on the weekend – but it's not known where the video was shot.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    The authors of a study showing that the new coronavirus was circulating in Italy earlier than experts had previously believed said on Thursday their data did not dispute the origins of COVID-19 as they defended the accuracy of their findings.

    The Italian researchers' findings showed that 11.6% of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020 had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.

    If those findings are correct, scientists said it could change the history of the origin of pandemic, raising questions about when and where the virus first emerged.

    The novel coronavirus was first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Italy's first COVID-19 patient was detected on Feb. 21 in a small town near Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy.

    The Chinese government said on Tuesday it believed the study showed that tracing the origin of the virus was an ongoing process that may involve many countries.

    But the Italian researchers said that's not necessarily their conclusion.

    “These findings simply document that the epidemic in China was not detected in time,” Giovanni Apolone, scientific director of National Cancer Institute (INT) and a co-author of the study, told a news conference in Milan.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    Farmed mink in Ireland are due to be culled over Covid-19 concerns.

    The Irish government ordered that the animals be culled, despite tests carried out on the country's mink herd not detecting any positive results of the virus to date.

    The Department of Health in Ireland recommended that the mink should be culled to minimise any risk of the virus spreading.

    It comes after the Danish government decided to cull millions of farmed mink in the country after authorities found genetic changes they said might undermine the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines for humans.

    The Department of Agriculture in Ireland said it had been “working closely” with the operators of the country's three mink farms to address any potential risks.

  • Niamh Cavanagh


    It means coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in England last month – a huge jump from being the 19th biggest killer in September.

    Dementia and Alzheimer's remain the leading causes of death, with 4,781 deaths last month, followed by heart disease, which claimed 4,282 lives.

    October was the fourth deadliest month since coronavirus was declared a pandemic in April, when there were more than 30,000 deaths.

    The highest number of deaths in one day since May was also recorded on October 29, when there were 189 fatalities.

    More on the story here.

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