Sadiq Khan: Shapps criticises calls for more vaccine doses
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps dismissed Sadiq Khan’s claims that London has been overlooked during the coronavirus vaccine rollout as “absolutely wrong.” The London Mayor had said he was “hugely concerned” that the capital was not getting its “fair share” of vaccine doses, something Mr Shapps was keen to address during his appearance on talkRADIO on Friday.
Asked if London had been missing out on vaccines, he told host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “No absolutely not, and I don’t blame anyone anywhere for saying let’s give our area more.
“But London has two hundred vaccination centres, it has got that enormous one at the Excel, the Nightingale Hospital has been turned into one of those big vaccination centres.
“We will make sure that we hit this target, remember that a month today by February 15 we have said that we want all of the first four categories that the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation have said.
“Those four categories make up for 88 per cent of the people who would otherwise die from coronavirus.
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“We are going to get them vaccinated by a month today including in London.”
He added: “So I don’t think there is any kind of basis for that, it is rolling out very very fast in London including at the Excel centre and I think we will see in a months time we will have met that target.
Preliminary figures for England showed that 2.91 million jabs had been carried out by Wednesday, including 2.49million first doses and 415,000-second doses. This is a rise of 248,177 on Tuesday’s figures which highlights the speeding up of the jabs.
More than a third of people aged over 80 in England have now received at least one of the two jabs needed for full protection.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Superb news that we’ve administered over 3 million vaccine doses across the UK.
“Thank you to all who have responded to the call and to the NHS, Armed Forces and volunteers who make it happen.
“It brings real hope, but it’s critical that for now we #StayHome Save Lives.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England (PHE), said: “To have vaccinated over a third of all over-80s by this point in the programme is a great achievement. I want to pay tribute to all those across the health system who have made this happen.”
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Public Health England (PHE) on Thursday tweeted that the daily number of new infections for the UK was 48,682 – a seven per cent drop from 52,681 last Thursday.
But “an issue with the processing of data”, meant there was no figure for the number of new deaths.
PHE’s latest COVID-19 surveillance report for the week to last Sunday showed case rates had fallen in London, the East Midlands, eastern England, North-east England, South-east England and Yorkshire & the Humber.
They have risen in the North-west, South-west and West Midlands. London continued to have the highest rate with 864.9 cases per 100,000 people. But this was down from 1,043.9 in the previous week.
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