Boris Johnson today announced he is bringing in the Army to bolster the UK’s coronavirus vaccination drive and claimed the NHS will be able to give 200,000 jabs every day by next Friday as part of ambitious lockdown-ending plans.
The Prime Minister today reassured the public there are enough doses available to get all the top priority groups immunised by mid-February. He also pledged to offer every care home resident a jab by the end of January and announced a new national online booking system that is hoped will be speed up the process.
NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens praised the UK for its ‘strong start’ but both he and the PM admitted there will be ‘difficulties’ and ‘bumps along the road’ as they scramble to immunise millions of people per week. The UK is aiming to vaccinate 13million people by mid-February, which could require up to 3m per week. Only 1.5million have received at least one dose so far — meaning there are another 11.5million to dish out in 39 days, or around 300,000 a day.
And for people who get sick before they can get a vaccine, Mr Johnson announced that two routine arthritis drugs – tocilizumab and sarilumab – would be used to treat critically-ill patients after scientists today found they can cut the risk of death by up to a quarter.
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