Government pledges all adults to be offered Covid-19 vaccine by autumn

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

The warning from the chief medical officer comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has discussed the prospect of introducing even tougher controls to ensure the public abide by the restrictions.

It intends to vaccinate two million people per week by the end of January by establishing 206 hospital hubs, 1,200 local vaccination service sites at pharmacies and primary care centres, and 50 vaccination centres.

The UK has been ahead of the curve on approving Covid-19 vaccinations and on Monday the government is expected to outline how it will hit its target of vaccinating 13 million people by February 15.

If Whitty's worst fears become reality, then the National Health Service will be under enormous strain as it attempts to cope with unprecedented hospital admissions, deal with dead bodies, vaccinate the most vulnerable citizens while also carrying out the normal procedures.

More than 2,700 vaccination sites will be set up across the country to deliver the vaccines, they said.

In the future we will have the vaccine, but the numbers at the moment are higher than they were in the previous peak - by some distance, ' England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty told the BBC, adding that he expects the next few weeks to be the 'most risky time'.

By the end of the month, everyone in England is to be within 10 miles of one of the vaccination sites, with a small number of "highly rural areas" having the vaccination brought to them by mobile teams.

This will mean every at-risk person has easy access to a vaccination centre, regardless of where they live.

Vaccine centres will each be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling their operations up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Health Secretary Matt Hancock

The new services will also be the first to deploy trained volunteers from both St John Ambulance and the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme alongside NHS staff, more than 80,000 of who have completed the clinical training needed to administer vaccines so far.

"Our vaccine deployment plan sets out exactly how we will harness these efforts to expand the programme quickly and safely".

Last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city's hospitals were in danger of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, and ministers and health chiefs pleaded with people to respect lockdown measures and stay at home unless it was essential to go out.

Over 2 million people in the United Kingdom have now been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines since the vaccination programme began.

In Scotland, the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is now available in more than 1,000 locations.

"I think that the much more important thing is that people should not be leaving their home unless they absolutely have to".

Mary Williams from Washington receives her vaccination at the International Centre for Life on January 11, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

The warnings come as Mr Hancock is due to set out the Government's vaccines delivery plan - hailing it as the "keystone of our exit out of the pandemic".

Canada to purchase additional 20 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Of the more than 35 million doses of COVID-19 that have been delivered nationwide, just under 9 million shots have been administered, NBC News reported .

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