- The PM pledges that all adults in the UK will be offered a coronavirus jab by the end of July
- The government's previous target was to offer all adults the first dose by September
- Boris Johnson says he now wants the programme to "go further and faster"
- He is due to hold a final meeting with senior ministers about how to ease England's lockdown
- Johnson will reveal his "road map" for easing restrictions on Monday
- Israel is easing restrictions following vaccine success, with shops, libraries and museums allowed to open
- Australia's PM receives the coronavirus vaccine as the country prepares to start inoculations this week
The latest headlinesJust waking up? Here's what you need to know this morning:
- Boris Johnson has said all adults in the UK will be offered their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July.
- The PM is due to hold a final meeting with senior ministers about how to ease England's lockdown later, before he sets out the full "road map" tomorrow
- Some 292 British employers made plans to cut jobs in January (the lowest figure since the pandemic began), suggesting that the decision to extend the furlough scheme has helped to prevent wider job losses
- Israel is easing lockdown restrictions as studies there reveal the Pfizer vaccine is 95.8% effective in preventing hospital admissions and death
- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison received the vaccine as the country prepares to start inoculations
- Prof John Wright, a doctor and epidemiologist who is writing a coronavirus diary for us, says this isn't a time to be choosy when it comes to getting the vaccine
From The Guardian:
- Australia has begun its vaccine rollout a day early, with the country’s prime minister among the first people to receive a dose on Sunday. “It’s safe, it’s important, join us on this Australian path that sees us come out of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
- Among Saturday’s reported figures, Mexico recorded 7,785 new cases and 832 more fatalities, while in Germany there were 7,676 new cases and 145 deaths.
- Malaysia moved up its Covid-19 inoculation drive by two days as the first batch of vaccines arrived in the Southeast Asian nation on Sunday.
- All adults in the UK will be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July, Boris Johnson has said ahead of an announcement on how England will begin to ease its third lockdown.
- Israel has reported a 95.8% drop in Covid-19 infection among those who have received two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, its health ministry announced on Saturday.
- A further 21 cases of the virus variant first discovered in the UK have been detected in Morocco, its health ministry has said, taking the number of reported cases with the mutation to 24.
- Coronavirus cases are rising in a number of Indian states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. The rise in infections comes amid the detection of new virus variants in Maharashtra, the Times of India reports.
- France’s number of new coronavirus cases compared with a week earlier increased for the third day in a row, with the health ministry reporting 22,371 new cases on Saturday.
- Micheál Martin, the taoiseach, has ruled out reopening Ireland’s hospitality sector until mid-summer due to the high level of Covid-19 cases in the country.
- Mexico’s deputy health minister has announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19, adding that his symptoms are mild.
- Iran has closed several crossing points at its border with Iraq in an effort to curb the spread of the Covid variant first detected in the UK after it was found in the country.
- The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, acted unlawfully by failing to publish multibillion-pound Covid-19 government contracts within the 30-day period required by law, a high court judge has ruled.
- More than 17 million people in the UK have now had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to government figures .
All UK adults to be offered jab by 31 July, says PMAll adults in the UK will be offered their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July, the prime minister has said.
More than 17 million people have been given a jab since the UK's Covid vaccine rollout began in December 2020.
The government's previous target was to offer all adults the first dose by September.
But Boris Johnson said he now wants the programme to "go further and faster".
He said the July target would allow vulnerable people to be protected "sooner" and would help to further ease lockdown rules across the country.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said there were "early signs" the vaccine rollout was contributing to a fall in hospital admissions.
Read the full story here.
'New target' for vaccine rolloutThe health secretary says the government now has a "new target" for the vaccine rollout in England.
Categories 1-9, the most vulnerable people, over-50s and health and social care workers will receive their jabs by 15 April, Matt Hancock tell Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
After that, all adults should be offered the jab by the end of July, he says.
Vaccines are able to be delivered at a rate of 500,000 a day, he says.
Brazil and SA variant cases coming downMore from the health secretary. He also says the number of cases of the Brazilian and South Africa variants are coming down. But he adds we must remain vigilant against the new variants.
"If one of these variants doesn't respond to the vaccine as well as the standard variant in the UK which is the Kent variant then that's obviously a very serious risk for the vaccination programme," he says.
But the good news is the actions we are taking right now do appear to be working, he says.
Asked if the UK was to host the European football championships this summer he says: "I haven't seen anything on that, I understand that's not right."
China reports seven new casesChina has reported seven new cases in the mainland for Saturday, compared with eight cases a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.
All the new infections were imported cases, it said in a statement. There were no new deaths.
China also reported six new asymptomatic patients, compared with 13 a day earlier. China does not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed Covid-19 cases.
As of Saturday, mainland China had 89,831 confirmed coronavirus infections, while the death toll remained at 4,636, it said.
Germany records more than 7,600 new casesThe number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 7,676 to 2,386,559, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
The reported death toll rose by 145 to 67,841, the tally showed.
Malaysia starts vaccine program earlyMalaysia moved up its Covid-19 inoculation drive by two days as the first batch of vaccines arrived in the Southeast Asian nation on Sunday.
Malaysia aims to vaccinate at least 80% of its 32 million people within a year as it pushes to revive an economy that, slammed by coronavirus-related curbs, recorded its worst slump in over two decades in 2020.
It has imposed more lockdowns this year amid a fresh wave of coronavirus infections. The country has recorded 280,272 cases and 1,051 deaths.
A total of 312,390 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were delivered to Malaysia on Sunday morning, with more expected in coming weeks.
“The second delivery will be made on 26 February, and we will continue to receive (Pfizer) deliveries every two weeks until it is completed,” Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a virtual news conference.
Malaysia has secured 32 million doses from Pfizer and BioNTech.
Vaccine doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech are scheduled to be delivered in bulk on 27 February, pending approval from local regulators, Khairy said.
The national vaccine rollout will begin Wednesday, earlier than initially scheduled, with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and health ministry director General Noor Hisham Abdullah set to receive the first doses, Khairy said.