Europe

Coronavirus vaccine: Surgeries ‘will not deliver jabs on Sundays’ despite PM’s pledge

Boris Johnson: Over 70s to be offered vaccine by February 15th

Leaked documents seen by the Telegraph showed Public Health England (PHE) officials will not carry out vaccinations one day a week. The memo, sent to NHS Trusts, explained officials will not be dispensing jabs on Sundays or after “cut-off points” during lunchtime.

It also shows that high street chemists are keen on giving more than a million doses of the Oxford jab every week, but the Government has rejected their request.

The document allegedly reads: “An emergency delivery schedule is not available.

“Orders after cut-off will be processed the next day.”

This is despite the Prime Minister’s promise to use “every second” to place an “invisible shield” around elderly and vulnerable patients.

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Speaking at Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: “I believe that when everybody looks at the position, people understand overwhelmingly that we have no choice.

“When the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is telling us that more than 2 percent of the population is now infected – that’s over one million people in England.

“And when today we have reported another 60,000 new cases, and when the number of patients in hospitals in England is now 40 percent higher than at the first peak in April.

“I think obviously everybody – you all – want to be sure that we in Government are now using every second of this lockdown to put that invisible shield around the elderly and the vulnerable in the form of vaccination and so to begin to bring this crisis to an end.”

If the Prime Minister’s inoculation goal is met, this means all people over 70 will be vaccinated by the middle of February.

Mr Johnson explained that meeting such aim will lead to the easing of some of the stringent lockdown measures.

He said: “If we succeed in vaccinating all those groups, we will have removed huge numbers of people from the path of the virus. And of course that will eventually enable us to lift many of the restrictions we’ve endured for so long.”

Hospitality leaders have offered to help with the inoculation programme by lending their empty venues as vaccination hubs.

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UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said businesses are “keen to repay the support shown to us”.

In a statement, Ms Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector can assist in the rapid roll out of the vaccine and we are keen to repay the support shown to us.

“Our sector is sitting on well-ventilated, COVID-secure spaces such as hotels, conference centres, pubs and restaurants which can be used and businesses are already coming forward to

offer locations to expedite a mass vaccination programme.”

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