Boris Johnson to give press conference at 5pm tonight after 3 million vaccinations dished out


BORIS Johnson will give a press conference at 5pm tonight after the UK hit the massive vaccine milestone of dishing out 3 million doses.

The PM will be flanked by his top experts, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

Boris Johnson will address the nation this evening

Announcing the “superb news” millions of Brits had been given the life-saving jab, Mr Johnson said: “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 #StayHomeSaveLives.”

The Government is said to be preparing to more than double the pace of the current programme next week to up to half a million jabs a day.

It could mean 32 million over-50s could have had the jab within months.

He has vowed to vaccinate 13 million people in the top four most vulnerable categories in order to start relaxing the lockdown.

The nation is also on tenterhooks for an update on the new Brazil variant – which caused a flight ban to come in overnight.

Flights have been cancelled between the UK and Portugal, along with all of South America – and only British citizens or those with residence rights will now be allowed in.

Public Health England and Porton Down labs are looking at the new Brazil strain – which Boris Johnson said was “concerning earlier this week – and are expected to give an update later, which may form part of the press conference.

It comes as:

  • Grant Shapps warned people not to book their summer holidays yet – as Britain was still in the middle of a pandemic
  • A total travel ban was slapped on Portugal and all of South America in order to stop the Brazilian variant of the virus making its way to the UK
  • But one of two new variants from Brazil could have already made its way to the UK, according to Professor Wendy Barclay, a leading British scientist

A spokesperson for No10 said there would be an “update” on the Brazilian strain this evening.

Downing Street has said evidence currently suggests that the concerning new Brazilian variant of coronavirus may be more transmissible but does not affect vaccines.

Transport Secretary this morning Grant Shapps said this morning he did not believe the mutation is in Britain yet.

“There haven’t been any flights that I can see from the last week from Brazil, for example,” he told the BBC.

And he said the Government’s top scientists think the vaccine will still work effectively on the new variant.

Mr Shapps said: “We had a look at this particular mutation, as opposed to many other thousands very carefully, saw there may be an issue, not so much that the vaccine won’t work, in fact scientists think it will work, but just the fact it is more spreadable.”

Brazil has seen Covid deaths double as its hospitals run out of oxygen while a new strain of the deadly virus has been detected in the Amazon.

Health officials and scientists have suggested the mutation could be behind the surge over the last three weeks which has seen daily records set for cases and deaths.

Hospitals in the country are being overwhelmed as Brazil has recorded the second highest death tally in the world with 205,000.

It is feared the new strain could be fueling the spread as Brazilian scientists believe the Covid mutation could increase the rate of transmission – like the variants detected in South Africa and the UK.


Meanwhile, the Government has launched a new advertising blitz in an attempt to stop people breaking the Covid rules over the weekend.

It warns people not to “bend the rules” and that from the Government’s new advertising blitz warning that “catching up can kill”, after parks and beaches were packed last weekend.

HOAR revealed yesterday one of them is expected to say that grabbing a coffee “could cost lives” – after ministers warned against people using exercise rules to see their mates.


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