He added: “This is fantastic news. The MHRA, the fiercely independent regulator, has clinically authorised the vaccine for rollout. The NHS stands ready to make that happen. So, from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country.”
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart, and some 10 million doses are expected to be available for use in the UK in the coming weeks for priority groups.
The NHS is planning to create capacity with GP-run facilities, “large scale mass vaccination sites”, NHS trusts, and “roving models” for people who cannot travel.
As a whole, by the end of April 88.5 million vaccination doses will be issued across England, with two doses per person 18 and older.