UK Government has secured 357 million doses of seven different vaccines

Health Minister Matt Hancock told a press conference that the UK has obtained 357 million doses of seven different vaccines.

The news comes because the Moderna vaccine – which has reported 94.1% efficacy against the coronavirus – has filed for emergency use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Mr. Hancock was accompanied by the Chief of Operations for the Community Testing Program, General Sir Gordon Messenger, and the NHS England National Medical Director, Prof. Stephen Powis.

Mr Hancock told the briefing: “By tomorrow night, national restrictions in England will end and subject to the vote in Parliament, will return to the level system on Wednesday morning.

“I know the national restrictions have been tough for some people, but the good news is they’ve worked.”

He added, “We have this virus under control.”

But he also warned against complacency.

“We need to be vigilant – 14,778 positive cases are still reported every day.

“Unfortunately, there are still an average of 460 deaths per day. This is far too many, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We know we can beat this together, and we have to stick with it.”

Mr Hancock reported that the R rate is back below one, “but only” – adding, “While we can give up a little, we can’t afford to leave much.

“The Covid Winter Plan has outlined the plan between now and spring.

“We’ve worked so hard and collectively sacrificed so much, but we can get through this and I know there’s hope on the horizon.”

As for the future plans, he was positive about the vaccines that have been widely reported.

“The NHS is now ready to deploy a vaccine should one be approved by the UK regulator.

“We in the UK now have access to 357 million doses of seven different vaccines,” he added.

He also revealed more details about the government’s community testing program, which showed that community testing was a success in Liverpool – which will exit the current Tier 2 lockdown – and that the same approach will be used to help Tier 3 areas to become less restrictive. measures.

“We’ve worked with those entering Tier 3 and today, with the release of our community testing prospectus, we’ve mapped out the next phase of that work.”

“We can identify and isolate people who have Covid – including, crucially, the one in three without symptoms, but who can still pass on the virus.

“By using tests that give results within 30 minutes, we can isolate people with Covid – whether they have symptoms or not,” he says.

He says it is a “silent danger” to be able to infect people with Covid if you have no symptoms.

“Everyone, if you are offered a test, take it – you might save a life”

Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said mass testing in addition to the rollout of approved vaccines would provide areas with a way out of the toughest coronavirus restrictions.

When asked by broadcasters whether areas placed in Tier 2 and Tier 3 can expect further support, they said, “We want to make sure that we give everyone the most generous support, as we did during the pandemic, and in the especially for the hospitality industry.

“I had just reminded everyone that, in addition to the holiday scheme, for companies that are forced to close, there is a subsidy of £ 3,000 per month, an extra £ 2,100 for hospitality, plus the reduction in corporate rates and VAT. .

“But the best thing for the hospitality industry, and indeed for any industry, is if we can control the virus, use mass testing, roll it out in increasing numbers, plus the vaccine if, as I hope, we can start. with its distribution.

“Then we can use those two scientific tools to push the virus down and open up the economy so that areas can come down to the levels they are in, and make steady progress that way – that’s the plan. and at Easter. “