Posted on February 2021 By Jamie Southwell
Tonight's press briefing was hosted by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Alongside him were the NHS England Boss, Sir Simon Stevens, and the UK's Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Chris Whitty.
Key points from the conference:
The Prime Minister began by praising the "unprecedented nationals achievement" of vaccinations as the programme continues to "power" pass the 15 million target. Reaching a total of 15,300,151 first doses and 539,630 second doses.
"We don't have all the hard facts that we need" states Johnson when referring to the lack of data behind the vaccines preventing the spread of infection.
Boris Johnson says there are aims of vaccinating everyone in the first 9 priority groups including all those over 50 by the end of April.
"We want this lockdown to be the last" finishes Johnson before handing over to Prof. Chris Whitty to talk through the slides.
Explaining the first slide, Whitty discusses the gradual decrease in the number of positive cases, which are still above the level of September last year. Provided in the graphs below.
Continuing on to the final slide, the Chief Medical Officer declares his appreciation for the "extraordinary" work of those administering the vaccination jabs. Provided in the graph below.
The last to speak was Sir Simon Stevens, who laid out a 3 step "sprint" plan from now until the end of April. Step 1 will be extending the opportunity for those who refused the vaccine until now. Step 2 will be reserving vaccines for those requiring the second booster dose. Step 3 will be offering the vaccine to those aged 65-69 years old.
Press questions start and Sam Coates from Sky News asks how effective is the vaccine after Boris Johnson warned of the vaccines not being 100% effective. The Prime Minister responds by saying the Government thinks "both vaccines are effective in offering you a high degree of protection", but there will still be cases of people not receiving the benefits from them.
Chris Whitty then responds to the journalist by stating the effects of the vaccine will "gradually build" and looking forward into the future of society, the possibility of having to take measures against the virus will be uncertain as it is "too early to say".
To read the key points from previous government coronavirus conferences click here