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Breaking News ! Boots and Superdrug branches are among six pharmacies across England which will be able to administer Covid-19 vaccinations from today while the government aims to hit its target of vaccinating all people in the four most vulnerable groups by the middle of next month. Andrews Pharmacy in Macclesfield, Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, north London, Woodside Pharmacy in Telford and Appleton Village pharmacy in Widnes will be in the first group to hand out the Covid-19 injections, alongside Boots in Halifax, and Superdrug in Guildford. In a switch from his original stance, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also told MPs that distribution “will be going to 24/7 as soon as we can” but said supply of doses remained the main barrier. The Scottish government published its vaccine delivery plan last night, including details of how many doses it expects to receive for each week until the end of May, prompting a row with London, which has declined to publish its numbers. The six pharmacies have been picked because they can deliver large volumes of the vaccine and allow for social distancing, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “fantastic” that jabs would be available on the high street. Read More Related Articles Latest Greater Manchester borough-by-borough Coronavirus infection rates as cases continue to rise Read More Related Articles Boots and Superdrug among high street pharmacies giving coronavirus vaccines from today “Pharmacies sit at the heart of local communities and will make a big difference to our roll out programme by providing even more local, convenient places for those that are eligible to get their jab,” he said. By the end of the month more than 200 community chemists will be able to give vaccines, according to NHS England. The pharmacies join the 200 hospitals, around 800 GP clinics and seven mass vaccination centres where jabs are already being handed out. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged ministers to go further and use England’s 11,500 pharmacies to deliver round-the-clock vaccinations by the end of next month. The expanded vaccination service in England comes as the daily reported UK death toll reached a new high on Wednesday, with 1,564 fatalities recorded within 28 days of a positive test. The latest figures meant the grim milestone of more than 100,000 deaths involving coronavirus has now been passed in the UK, according to official data. The Prime Minister warned hospital intensive care units (ICUs) face being overwhelmed unless coronavirus rates are brought under control, with the latest official figures showing more than 36,000 people are in hospital with coronavirus, including almost 3,500 on ventilation. Scroll down for live updates throughout the day...Key EventsUK monitoring 'very carefully' new Brazilian variant07:3707:47Helen CarterWatch: Coronavirus cases and deaths in the UKWatch: Coronavirus cases and deaths in the UK as the numbers hit record levels.07:45Helen CarterUK acted 'decisively' over new variants in Denmark and South AfricaMinister Victoria Atkins said the UK had acted “decisively” in the past over new variants of coronavirus found in Denmark and South Africa.When asked on Sky News why the air corridor between Brazil and parts of South America to the UK had not been closed off, she said: Of course, people flying into the UK, whether from South America or elsewhere are required to have a 10-day quarantine period when they land in the UK. That is mandatory.In terms of the decision on travel measures, it takes a little bit of time.What we need to ensure is that when we make these very, very important decisions that have a huge impact on people’s personal lives, but also businesses, we have got to have a little bit of time to let that bed in.The Prime Minister was clear that measure will be taken, we have acted decisively in the past with both the Denmark and South African variants, so I wouldn’t want to speculate further at this stage.
.Asked on Sky News on Thursday about reports that contracting the virus gives “at least as good” immunity as from the vaccine she said: The science on this is developing, as with this pandemic we all know it is unprecedented, we are all learning as time goes by and it is fantastic that we have such a great team of scientists working on this.But the message from government, I’m afraid, remains the same: all of the measures that we have, whether it’s ‘hands, face and social distancing’, all the lockdown measures that we are currently in, they all still apply.This vaccination news, or indeed the news that if you have already had Covid you might have some immunity, that’s great news for the future but we all must play our part in sticking to the rules so we can start to, in due course, release these lockdown restrictions and get back to some form of normality.”07:37KEY EVENTUK monitoring 'very carefully' new Brazilian variantSafeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said the UK was monitoring the new Brazilian coronavirus variant “very carefully” and that “practical measures” were being worked on.Speaking on Sky News, she added: This variant has been spotted and it is not unusual for viruses to develop variations in their strains.But in terms of the UK, we are monitoring it very, very carefully, we have a world-leading team of scientists working on the different forms of the virus.And as the Prime Minister said yesterday, in terms of practical measures, they are being worked on at the moment and no doubt we will hear more in due course as to measures to help deal with that.”07:35Helen CarterDeaths will be 'well over 1,000 a day' before numbers start coming downProf Ferguson said we are going to be well over 1,000 deaths a day before numbers start coming down.He told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme:The total, unfortunately, is going to be well over 100,000. We have to be very careful.Probably at a national level, only 20 per cent of the population has been infected so far. We have to get to very high levels of vaccine coverage before we reduce that risk of deaths again.We can still get a large epidemic which could kill many people. We need to be very cautious about how we relax restrictions."07:33Helen CarterIn some regions in England and Wales 'there's signs of plateauing'Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme said in some NHS regions in England and Wales "there's sign of plateauing."In London, those case numbers are coming down in the South East and East of England, hospital numbers "may have plateaued."He said: This is not seen everywhere. Hospital admissions and numbers are going up in other areas.I expect we will see case numbers to come down at a national level. It will take longer for hospital admissions to come down."
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