Matt Hancock to hold COVID press conference today to announce latest updates

Ross McGuinness
·2 min read
Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing on coronavirus (COVID-19) in Downing Street, London. Picture date: Monday January 25, 2021.
Health secretary Matt Hancock is expected to lead a Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Monday. (PA)

Matt Hancock is set to lead a press conference later on Monday to give the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

The health secretary is expected to host the briefing from Downing Street at 5pm.

He is predicted to confirm that the government has offered a COVID-19 vaccine to residents at every eligible care home in England.

On Monday, the head of the National Care Association said some care home staff have refused a vaccine because of “cultural issues”.

According to the government’s latest data, almost 9 million people have been given a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and more than 491,000 have had a second jab.

On Sunday, Hancock said he hoped the continued rollout of the vaccine would mean Britons could enjoy a “happy and free” summer.

In a previous Number 10 briefing last month, Hancock said the UK is on track to meet its target of vaccinating 15 million people in the highest-priority groups by the middle of February.

Watch: Hancock says UK on track to vaccinate top-priority groups

Social care minister Helen Whately said the expected confirmation that all elderly care home residents in England have been offered the coronavirus vaccine was a “real milestone”.

She told Sky News on Monday: “It is really tremendous news for our social care sector, for care homes particularly. We all know that they have had such a hard time through the pandemic.

Read more: What you can and can't do under current lockdown rules

“Today we have news that 10,000 care homes have had vaccination teams go in and visit them, go and vaccinate residents and staff in those care homes.

“It does feel like a real milestone for our care homes. This is a moment to give them hope and some protection.”

But National Care Association executive chair Nadra Ahmed told BBC Breakfast that some care home staff have not yet had the vaccine.

“Some of it is to do with access and that is that people are just not able to get to where they needed to go to,” she said.

“If they’ve been coming into the care homes, the GPs have not had enough vaccine for the staff as well, they’ve just got enough for the residents, which is the priority.

“And some of it is to do with cultural issues and some is that people just don’t want to have the vaccine.

“We have to convince people that this vaccine is for them. That it’s for the staff to protect them and therefore protect the services they work in.”

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?