UK to increase coronavirus vaccinations to 500,000 doses a day

More than two million people in Britain have received vaccine dose

A health worker fills a syringe with a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Appleton Village Pharmacy, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Widnes, Britain January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
Powered by automated translation

Britain could have enough coronavirus vaccine supplies to administer 500,000 doses a day by next week, reports said.

UK's plans to increase its vaccination campaign were revealed in the Financial Times on Thursday, quoting a Scottish government document.

Britain will have secured enough vaccines to inoculate most of its 15 million most vulnerable people, the goal the government has set for mid-February, the report said.

The document, published online by the Scottish government on Wednesday and later withdrawn, showed that vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, and Moderna are due to arrive in significant quantities in the early summer.

The Scottish government expects to receive 309,000 doses from next week, which equates to almost 3.8 million across the UK.

NHS advanced nurse practitioner Edwina Williams prepares a phial of the Oxford/Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine before it is administered to residents at Belong Crewe care village in Crewe, northwest England on January 14, 2021. The government has come under increasing pressure to speed up its vaccination programme, and is now reported to be planning a pilot scheme to see if there is demand for late-night jabs. / AFP / Oli SCARFF
NHS advanced nurse practitioner Edwina Williams prepares the Oxford/Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine before it is administered to residents at Belong Crewe care village in Crewe, northwest England. AFP.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that Britain was aiming for 24-hour, seven-day-a week Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

Britain recorded 48,682 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, a slight increase on the previous day, Public Health England said on Twitter.

Daily data on Covid-19 deaths was delayed, the public health body said.

At least 2,639,309 people have received a first coronavirus dose, official figures show.

Londoners received a 10th of all vaccines administered in England, despite facing a crisis that is pushing the capital's hospitals to the brink of collapse.

Data from NHS England showed 237,524 doses were given to people in London, from a total of 2.37 million across the country.

The government is prioritising those aged over 80, care-home residents and carers, and health and social care workers.

More than half of the vaccine doses given were to those aged over 80.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was “hugely concerned” at the low rate of vaccinations in the capital.

“The situation in London is critical with rates of the virus extremely high, which is why it’s so important that vulnerable Londoners are given access to the vaccine as soon as possible,” Mr Khan said.

He said he would hold talks with the government on Thursday “to ensure that we urgently receive an amount of the vaccine that reflects our size, density and the level of need in our city".