Kate Garraway says coronavirus vaccine is 'extraordinary'
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine began being rolled out last week after trials showed its effectiveness against coronavirus. Now nearly 140,000 people have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Britain since the rollout began. People aged over 80 are in the highest priority group, and some famous faces have been touting the resilience of the NHS as they receive the jab.
Actor Sir Ian McKellen, 81, received the vaccine and said he has “no hesitation in recommending it.”
In a tweet from the NHS which Sir Ian retweeted he said: “It’s a very special day. I feel euphoric.
“I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. I feel very lucky to have had the vaccination.”
With the vaccine now being rolled out, special clinics have popped up across the country for those eligible to receive the jab.
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And if you want to know where your nearest clinic is, you can use the handy tool on this page.
Simply pop your postcode into the search bar and it will tell you your nearest Covid vaccination centre.
The service will also tell you the prioritised groups and you can sign up for email alerts for your area.
However, you can only be vaccinated once you have been invited to do so.
Soon more people will have access to the vaccine, and the rate of vaccinations will increase as more doses become available and the programme continues to expand.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Thanks to the hard work of the NHS across the UK, over 137,000 people have already received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.”
First, all those over 80 years old will receive the vaccine, alongside frontline health and social care workers.
Then those aged 75 and over will begin to get the jab.
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This is the schedule for vaccinations
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- People 75 years of age and over
- People 70 years of age and over and people deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable.
- People 65 years of age and over
- Individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- People 60 years of age and over
- People 55 years of age and over
- People 50 years of age and over
Britons have been urged to be careful ahead of Christmas, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday people should plan only for a “merry little Christmas”.
He said those meeting family should exercise extreme caution but refused to outlaw festive family gatherings despite Covid-19 cases soaring across swathes of Britain.
Hours after pubs and restaurants were forced to close again in London and some other areas to tackle a worsening outbreak, Mr Johnson said plans to ease restrictions for five days from December 23 would go ahead but urged people to be careful.
John Edmunds, an epidemiologist at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said the Christmas relaxation was a risk as prevalence was still high.
He told Sky News: “It doesn’t look like the tier system is holding the epidemic wave back, unfortunately.
“I think we are going to have to look at these measures and perhaps tighten them up.”
Britons have already been altering plans for celebrating Christmas this year according to research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Tim Vizard, principal research officer at the ONS, said: “This week, we found that around half of adults planned to form a Christmas bubble.
“However, we can see that, even before the updated guidance about socialising over Christmas, people were already making significant changes to the way they normally celebrate Christmas.
“This included lower proportions of adults planning to stay overnight with others, travel overseas and travel by public transport compared to last year.”
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