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UK Is Vaccinating 140 People per Minute on Average, Minister Says

UK Is Vaccinating 140 People per Minute on Average, Minister Says

Monday, 18 January, 2021 - 07:45
Minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi speaks at the House of Commons in London | Photo: REUTERS

The United Kingdom is vaccinating 140 people per minute against COVID-19 on average, Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday.


"It is going well, we're vaccinating on average 140 people, that's first jab, literally a minute. That's the average so some areas are doing better," Zahawi told Sky.


"You'll see that improve as we open more of the large vaccination centers, 17 in total by this week and 50 by the end of the month."


"Today, in some areas where they've done the majority of their over 80s, letters are going out to the over 70s and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable," he said.


He said the 24-hour vaccine offering would begin to be piloted in London by the end of the month.


In a related context, Britain’s government said on Sunday it would give financial aid to airports before the end of March, after the industry called for urgent support as tighter COVID-19 rules for international travelers start on Monday.


Aviation minister Robert Courts said the government would launch a new support program this month.


“The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme will help airports reduce their costs and we will be aiming to provide grants before the end of this financial year,” he announced on social media, adding that more details would follow soon.


From 0400 GMT on Monday, all travelers to Britain must have a recent negative COVID-19 test and be prepared to quarantine at home for 10 days on arrival.


Britain’s current lockdowns ban most international travel, meaning that airline schedules are currently minimal. But the withdrawal of any quarantine-free travel will be a further blow for the industry.


The latest restrictions were prompted in part by a third wave of the disease that has caused record daily death tolls in Britain, as well as concern about a new coronavirus variant discovered in Brazil.


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