The over 70s and clinically vulnerable in England will start receiving their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine from Monday.
People in priority groups three and four are now being called up to receive their jabs in parts of the country where the highest-risk individuals (care home residents/staff, over 80s and frontline workers) have mostly been vaccinated.
The NHS has delivered 3.79 million vaccinations so far – with the government claiming it is on course to meet its target of giving the most vulnerable people their first shot by February 15.
As many as 1,200 hospitals and GP-led services are administering the jab – with the UK now giving out 140 vaccinations per minute.
10 more mass vaccination hubs have also opened around the country today – including sites at Blackburn Cathedral, St Helens rugby stadium and Taunton Racecourse.
Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi has pledged there will be 50 of these centres by the end of the month.
The MP also stated a 24-hour vaccine site is set to be trialled in London later in January, claiming the likes of police, shop-workers and teachers should be prioritised in phase two.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director, said: “The NHS vaccination programme has got off to a strong start with our hard-working staff delivering more than three million vaccinations while also dealing with the latest wave of coronavirus infections.
“This is accelerating as more vaccine supplies come on stream with more sites opening all the time so that we can protect as many people as swiftly as possible.
“The rapid progress we have already made is testament to NHS staff who are pulling out all the stops to vaccinate the most vulnerable while caring for so many people who are seriously ill with COVID.”