Downing St press conference at 10am as MHRA and JCVI give Covid vaccine update

DOWNING Street is holding a press conference at 10am this morning to update Brits on the latest coronavirus vaccine developments.

It comes as health regulators revealed that the Pfizer/BioNTech jab has been given the green light to be rolled out across the UK.

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Regulators will this morning address the nation as the NHS gets set to start it's mass vaccination programme.

The chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Dr June Raine, will lead the briefing.

Also attending the briefing will be Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed (Chair of Commission on Human Medicine Expert Working Group) and Prof Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The JCVI will update Brits on who will be first in line to receive the vaccine, which is 95 per cent effective.

Care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the extremely vulnerable will be among the 800,000 to get the jab in the first wave next week, it was confirmed.

Just days ago, it was announced that the drug was set to get the green light for use – and medics were told to prepare for approval in early December.

And it's now been announced that almost a million vaccine doses will be available from next week, with "several millions" more coming throughout December.


The first shipments will arrive as early as today, although the bulk of the roll-out will take place in the new year.

The UK regulator was formally asked by Health Secretary Matt Hancock to check the Pfizer vaccine and approve it.

He said today: "From Easter onwards, things are going to be better and we’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy."

Mr Hancock tweeted earlier this morning: "Help is on its way.

"The MHRA has formally authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19.

"The NHS stands ready to start vaccinating early next week.

"The UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically approved vaccine for supply."

Hospitals are now preparing their staff to start receiving the vaccine from Monday. An army of helpers will then issue the jab to those most in need.

It has to be stored at -70C and can only be thawed in batches of 1,000 before immunisation.

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