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Boris Johnson admits vaccine rollout across UK moves at uneven pace as he vows to move to 24/7 operation

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The deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine is taking place at an uneven pace across the UK, Boris Johnson admitted with the scale of the variation expected to be exposed on Thursday.

The prime minister said doctors in some areas had already beaten more than half of those over 80, while other areas were lagging behind. Some general practitioner practices have been forced to put their vaccination plans on hold after administering so many doses that they had run out.

The national immunization program will start running 24/7 as soon as possible, Mr Johnson promised as Sir Keir Starmer demanded that injections be sent to all pharmacies across the country in order to speed up the rollout.

A total of 223,726 vaccines were administered in the UK in the last 24 hour period, of which 207,661 were first doses. There are 2,639,309 people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine with a total number of vaccines exceeding 3 million, although the pace of vaccinations still needs to accelerate to reach the goal of protecting all over 70 years and older children. more vulnerable in a month.

An NHS volunteer waits at the door to greet arrivals at the Covid-19 vaccination center at ExCel London, which is home to the London Nightingale Hospital (Photo: Getty)

Level across the country

Thursday will see the first release of regional data which will show how many people in each region of England have had access to a shot. The Prime Minister told the Commons Liaison Committee: There are areas of the country where they have done unbelievably well to immunize the over 80s, over 50% well above 50% in the North East and the Yorkshire, less well in some others. parts of the country.

Northern Ireland has grown faster than any other country in the UK, with 4.8% of its residents having received at least one dose, compared to 4% in England, 3.5% in Scotland and 3, 2% in Wales.

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A number of medics were told they couldn’t get more vaccines after they ran out, as they had to wait until other areas caught up. Nikita Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, said: What we need to do is make sure it’s standard across the country.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi insisted the UK is effectively deploying its available doses, but declined to give details of current supply levels. He told MPs: The NHS will literally be just-in-time delivery in the next few days, so this idea of ​​simply relying on a lot of stock is not true.

He said the guaranteed supply of vaccines by the end of next month was sufficient to deliver the 15 million vaccines promised by February 15.

Go 24/7

To questions from the first ministers, Mr Johnson promised that some vaccination centers would start opening 24 hours a day. He said: Well, we are going to go 24/7 as soon as possible and the secretary to Health will talk more about it in due course. The move is expected to come as part of the program’s expansion beyond the most vulnerable groups, who are considered unlikely to attend late-night dates. Scotland and Wales are considering similar policies.

Labor has called for giving pharmacies and local councils a bigger role in vaccine roll-out and to help increase capacity to 4 million a week by the end of February. Sir Keir, the party leader, said: The government must match the ambition of nations with a 24/7 deployment that harnesses all of our country’s expertise and dedication. Every main street has a pharmacy and I want to see all possible pharmacies deployed to help.

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