Today the first vaccinations in the UK against coronavirus begin. Thank you to our NHS, to all of the scientists who worked so hard to develop this vaccine.
This is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history. It is a momentous occasion that provides fresh hope that we can beat this pandemic. And the protection vaccines offer our nation have the potential to allow us to reclaim our lives and get our economy moving again.
The UK has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with an initial 800,000 available. We will begin administering the first vaccines to the most vulnerable people in the country, beginning with care home residents and their carers, all those over 80, and frontline health and social care workers.
Thanks to the work of the Vaccine Taskforce, the UK has built one of the largest and most varied vaccine portfolios in the world and today the UK has become the first country to begin vaccinating people.
The start of this vaccination programme is a positive one, but it will not end the pandemic overnight. Despite this good news we cannot now loosen our resolve to defeat this virus – so everyone must continue to follow the rules.
We must all continue to play our part and abide by the local restrictions, to suppress the virus and protect the NHS as they carry out this vital work.