Pharmacies join UK's mass COVID vaccine rollout

Pharmacies in the UK are set to start administering COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday (January 14).

The government says it's seeking to accelerate the rollout of shots to millions of people a week - to meet an ambitious delivery target.

Local pharmacies, like Boots and Superdrug, will begin offering the jabs - with 200 community drugstores due to be included over the next fortnight.

They'll join hospitals, doctors' surgeries and seven large-scale centers, providing vaccines in what it hopes are more convenient places.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that the UK is aiming for a 24-hour, 7-day a week vaccination program as soon as possible.

It hopes to inoculate 15 million people by mid-February - prioritizing those in the four highest risk groups - the elderly, clinically vulnerable and frontline health and social care workers.

Official figures show that Britain has administered around 2.6 million first vaccine doses so far.

The UK, which is currently battling a new, highly-transmissible variant of COVID-19, has been reporting record case and death figures in recent days.

The intensity of the second wave of the pandemic there is now more deadly than the first.