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Matt Hancock to hold press conference this afternoon as vaccine super-hubs open

Matt Hancock to hold press conference this afternoon as vaccine super-hubs open
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will hold the press conference this afternoon (Picture: AP)

Matt Hancock will set out the government’s new plan for delivering Covid vaccines this afternoon with a press conference at Downing Street.

The Health Secretary is expected to discuss seven new mass vaccination sites, including a tennis club, football stadium and race course, which opened across England today.

These centres will also be joined later this week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services, along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites. This will push the total number of vaccine sites to 1,200 nationwide.

Hancock previously described the push for vaccinations as the ‘keystone of our exit out of the pandemic’. His words this afternoon will come amid serious warnings in all four nations over high levels of infection and struggling hospital systems.

Moira Edwards receives an injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire receiving the first of two injections with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine from nurse Justine Braid at a NHS vaccine centres that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey. The racecourse will be home to one of seven mass vaccination centres opening next week as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19.
Moira Edwards, 88, received the Covid jab at Epsom racecourse (Picture: PA)

The first mass vaccination centres opening today include Epsom Race Course in Surrey, Ashton Gate football stadium in Bristol, the Excel Centre in London, Newcastle’s Centre for Life, the Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, Robertson House in Stevenage and Millennium Point in Birmingham.

The sites will all offer jabs to people aged 80 and older, along with health and care staff. Next on the government’s priority list are people 75 and over, before those aged 70 and over and clinically vulnerable individuals.

Staff make preparations ahead of the opening of the NHS mass vaccination centre that has been set up in the grounds of Epsom Race Course in Surrey and which is one of seven opening today as the UK government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Seven mass vaccination centres opened today (Picture: PA)
People talk to healthcare workers before they receive an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS vaccine centre that has been set up at the Centre for Life in Times Square, Newcastle. The centre is one of the seven mass vaccination centres now opened to the general public as the government continues to ramp up the vaccination programme against Covid-19. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday January 11, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
People talk to healthcare workers before they receive the vaccine in Newcastle (Picture: PA)

Nana Kwabena, 81, became the first person to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at the Centre for Life in Newcastle earlier this morning, while Moira Edwards, 88, was the first person to be vaccinated at Epsom racecourse.

Ms Edwards, from Cobham in Surrey, who received her first dose beside her daughter Clare Edwards, said it was ‘extremely important’ to get the vaccine.

She went on: ‘Having this vaccine makes it a step closer to being with my family again and giving them a big hug.’

This morning Nadhim Zahawi, the minister in charge of vaccine deployment, said that most people currently had ‘about a 45-minute drive’ or less to a vaccination centre.

He said his aim was to ensure no-one in the UK was ‘more than a 10-mile radius’ away from a site. He also told Times Radio he wanted to reach the point where people could simply walk into their community pharmacy or local GP to receive a vaccine.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.





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