Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly announce a military-led vaccine drive (Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Boris Johnson is set to give a press conference at 5pm tonight on the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister is preparing to make his third TV address of the week after England plunged into a new national lockdown – and as GPs roll out the Oxford vaccine for the first time today.
He will be joined by NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens and Brigadier Phil Prosser.
He will reportedly confirm a new Army-led distribution plan for vaccines drawn up by battlefield planners.
The PM will claim the plan could help him reach his target of vaccinating almost 14million of Britain's most vulnerable people by February 15. Just over a million have been vaccinated so far, though new figures are due out today.
But Boris Johnson could find his message derailed by the chaos which engulfed US democracy last night.
The press conference could be overshadowed by the fallout of the Capitol riots in Washington
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Four people are dead after pro-Trump rioters overwhelmed police and stormed the Capitol building while Congress was certifying Joe Biden ’s election victory.
The President then inflamed tensions when he posted a video message urging the mob to leave – but failing to condemn them, calling them “very special” and saying he knew how they felt.
After he was condemned by world leaders, and the UK's Priti Patel said he "directly" incited violence, Trump today accepted there would be an orderly transition of power.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stopped short of mentioning or condemning Trump last night but tweeted: “Disgraceful scenes in U.S. Congress.
“The United States stands for democracy around the world and it is now vital that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.”
Become an NHS volunteer and help millions of Brits get the coronavirus vaccine
Donald Trump supporters stormed the citadel of US democracy just as Biden was being confirmed
Mr Johnson – who once suggested Trump could get the Nobel Peace Prize – is likely to come under pressure to directly condemn the US President.
GP surgeries in England are to begin administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as the UK faces a race to protect the population after the daily reported death toll topped 1,000.
The drive to mass vaccinate the population will take a considerable step forward as the NHS in England said the jab would be rolled out from GP surgeries from Thursday.
The development comes after the UK reported a further 1,041 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday – the highest daily reported total since April 21.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images)
Record numbers are also currently in hospital with coronavirus, with a further 3,500 admitted in England on Monday January 4.
Boris Johnson, who was given the overwhelming backing of MPs for the latest lockdown, warned that there was now a race between the spread of the virus and the delivery of vaccines to the most vulnerable.
The House of Commons, recalled from its Christmas break to vote on the lockdown restrictions on Wednesday, voted with a 508 majority for the measures, which could be in place until the end of March.
"After the marathon of last year we are indeed now in a sprint, a race to vaccinate the vulnerable faster than the virus can reach them," the Prime Minister told MPs.
"Every needle in every arm makes a difference."