Today we have published our Covid-19 UK Vaccines Delivery Plan, setting out how we plan to deliver the biggest vaccination programme in British history, to protect all those who need it most as quickly as possible.
The delivery of a safe, effective vaccine is the best way to protect the most vulnerable and save thousands of lives – and we want to reassure the British people that we are fully prepared to deliver this vaccine over the weeks and months ahead.
That is why today we have published our Vaccines Delivery Plan, which sets out our ambitions for the coming weeks and months as we continue to expand our programme at breakneck speed, and outlines the time, effort and resources that have gone and will go into ensuring we protect the British people from the scourge of this virus.
This battle plan will be the keystone of our exit out of the pandemic, but only if we continue to play our part by staying at home, following the rules and keeping hands, face, space at the forefront of our minds when out and about.
Our plan is to deliver at least 2 million vaccinations in England per week by the end of January.
Through Phase One, tens of millions of people will be immunised by the spring at over 2,700 vaccination sites across the UK.
By the end of January, everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site. This will mean every at-risk person has easy access to a vaccination centre, regardless of where they live.
In addition, all residents and staff in over 10,000 care homes across the country will be offered a vaccine by the end of the month.
As set out by the Prime Minister last week, the plan emphasises our commitment to offer the first vaccine dose to all those in the top four priority groups recommended by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) by 15 February. With these groups accounting for 88% of COVID-19 fatalities, the move will prevent thousands of deaths once their immunity develops in 14 days.
This will be made possible by the rapid expansion of the programme, including:
Phase Two will look at the best tactics for achieving protection for the whole UK population, and may include vaccination of those at high risk of catching COVID-19 or delivering key public services. The JCVI will consider all available evidence for Phase Two recommendations of the vaccination programme.
The vaccine delivery plan is split into four main areas:
The government will work with the NHS, devolved administrations, local councils and the armed forces to deliver the largest vaccination programme in British history.
We have vaccinated around two million people in the United Kingdom – more people than any other country in Europe, and we were the first country to approve both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine.
We have vaccinated more people in the last week than the whole of December, we are now administering 200,000 doses a day, and over a third of over-80s have received a jab.
By the end of this week, we hope to have set up 1,200 GP-led, pharmacy-led and hospital vaccine delivery sites, along with our seven giant vaccination centres.
Vaccines and new treatments do offer us hope and a clear way out. But we cannot afford to let our justified optimism for the future come at the expense of difficult action today.
Our NHS in some parts of the country is currently facing the most dangerous situation anyone can remember, and if the virus continues its current trajectory, many hospitals will be in real difficulties very soon. NHS staff are doing their absolute best, but even they have limits.
The British public have made an extraordinary effort so far. Of course, we are all tired of restrictions, but we need to find the collective strength to get through the critical stage and save as many lives as we can. Our message is clear: to drive the numbers down, we must stay home. Every unnecessary interaction you have could be the link in a chain of transmission which has a vulnerable person at the end.
These restrictions will not last forever. By following the rules, we will save lives and help normal life return more swiftly.