Boris Johnson announcement: what time is PM speaking today, what might he say in his speech - and how to watch

Mr Johnson said the announcement was ‘fantastic’ news, tweeting: ‘It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives’

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 12:58 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to address the nation today (2 December), following news that a Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for use in the UK.

Here is everything you need to know:

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Wockhardt's pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on 30 November in Wrexham, Wales (Photo: Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

What will Boris say?

The Prime Minister is expected to address the recent welcome news that the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

Officials said the vaccine will be made available “from next week”, and Mr Johnson is expected to lay out how mass vaccinations may work across the country, and who will have priority access to them.

The jab has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups, though elderly people in care homes and their carers are expected to be top of the list to receive the vaccine, on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers.

Boris Johnson is expected to address the recent welcome news that the first Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK (Photo: Jamie Lorriman - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Next on the priority list are those aged 80 and above and frontline health workers, followed by those aged 75 and over, then those 70 and over and clinically “extremely vulnerable” individuals.

People aged 65 and over are next in line, alongside anyone aged 16 to 64 who has underlying health conditions which put them at a “higher risk of serious disease and mortality”.

Those aged 60 and over will be vaccinated next, followed by those aged 55 and over, and then those aged 50 and over.

Mr Johnson said the announcement was “fantastic” news, tweeting: “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.”

When will the vaccine be available?

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses of the jab will arrive "next week”; millions more doses are due in the coming weeks.

Mr Hancock told Sky News the UK was the first country in the world to have a “clinically authorised vaccine” and it would be deployed as “quickly as it is manufactured”.

He added: “This is fantastic news The MHRA, the fiercely independent regulator, has clinically authorised the vaccine for roll out. The NHS stands ready to make that happen.

“So, from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country.”

Will the Covid tiers be relaxed?

Mr Hancock said until vaccines were rolled out people needed to stick to the rules, saying: “We’ve got to get from here to there and we’ve got to keep people safe in the meantime.”

England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the vaccine approval is “excellent news and a step towards normality”.

He tweeted: “It will take until spring until the vulnerable population who wish to are fully vaccinated. We can’t lower our guard yet.”

What time is the press conference?

The press conference is scheduled to begin at its usual time slot of 5pm.

How can I watch it live?

Boris Johnson’s address to the nation will be available to watch live on BBC News and Sky News.

You can watch it online through BBC iPlayer here, while Sky News has a live YouTube stream here.