UK coronavirus LIVE: Covid vaccine to arrive in UK today as death toll passes 60,000

Harriet Brewis
·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The UK will receive its first doses of the coronavirus vaccine “within hours,” England’s deputy chief medical officer has confirmed.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told BBC Radio 5 Live phone-in this morning that Britain’s health chiefs expect to receive the newly-approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine “very, very shortly”, adding: "I do mean hours, not days.”

His comments come after a Government minister predicted that the country will defeat the virus “by the spring", thanks to the imminent rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Amid the optimism, on Thursday the UK surpassed 60,000 coronavirus deaths — the first country in Europe to reach that grim milestone.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson gave his optimistic analysis as he offered a “cast-iron guarantee” that GCSE and A-level exams will go head next year after it emerged that pupils in England will be awarded more generous grades and receive advanced notice of exam topics in a bid to “boost fairness”.