Boris Johnson Holding Another Press Conference At 5pm
Boris Johnson is set to address the nation at 5pm tonight, January 7, in his third press conference this week.
The prime minister is expected to confirm a new Army-led distribution plan for vaccines as healthcare workers roll out the recently-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine along with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.
Earlier this week, Johnson enforced a third national lockdown while the four top priority groups receive vaccinations. Johnson is reportedly set to claim the new plan will help the nation reach its target of vaccinating the most vulnerable groups by February 15, ultimately creating a path out of lockdown.
A source with knowledge of tonight’s press conference told The Sun: ‘The Prime Minister is approaching the vaccination roll-out as a military operation and that’s what you’ll see at [the] press conference.’
Military personnel will be used to help evenly distribute the jabs to top priority groups across the country, though government insiders have insisted that the deployment was military planners rather than troops at this stage.
Johnson is expected to be joined this evening by a senior military figure involved in the plans as well as NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens.
Six hospital trusts in Oxford, London, Sussex, Lancashire and Warwickshire began administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca earlier this week, with other doses now being rolled out in hundreds of GP-led services and care homes across the UK.
Johnson visited some of the first people to receive the Oxford vaccine at London’s Chase Farm Hospital this week, where he said there were ‘tough, tough’ weeks to come as the nation battles to get the virus under control.
At the time, the PM said there would be a ‘massive ramp-up’ in vaccination numbers in the coming weeks, with the aim of getting the number of vaccine doses to ‘tens of millions by the end of March.’
Johnson added that he would give more details ‘in the next few days’ about when the government would be vaccinating two million people per week.
The UK hit a grim milestone yesterday, January 6, as it recorded a record-high number of cases and surpassed 1,000 daily coronavirus deaths for the first time since April.
Government data revealed 60,916 tested positive for the virus on Tuesday alone, while a press conference later the same day saw Johnson announce that more than one million people were currently infected, with the number of patients in hospitals 40% higher than in the first peak.
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