IN today's government coronavirus briefing Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said one in every 60 adults had been vaccinated in one single weekend.

The UK has now vaccinated 9.2 million people, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, with more than 900,000 vaccinated over the weekend.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock said almost nine in 10 of all those aged over 80 had been vaccinated, with over half of those in their 70s receiving a jab.

He added: “We have visited every single care home with older residents in England and offered vaccinations to all of their residents and staff – this has been an incredible example of health and social care working together.”

Mr Hancock said that the UK has now ordered another 40 million vaccine doses from Valneva, adding that the UK is continuing with its “no regrets” attitude to backing vaccines that have yet to be approved.

He said that if it gains approval, the Valneva vaccine will be manufactured in Livingston in Scotland.

Matt Hancock has said the UK currently has 400 million doses of vaccine on order.

He said: “My attitude has always been we protect every UK citizen as fast as we can and at the same time we’re generous around the world.”

The Health Secretary said the vaccine rollout was a “global effort”, adding that the AstraZeneca vaccine is currently the only vaccine being deployed globally at cost.

“We will play our part to ensure the whole world can get the jab,” he said.

Asked about supplies of vaccines following disputes with the EU, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We have a high degree of confidence in the supplies that we have contracted from Pfizer and AstraZeneca and we’re working with our European partners to make sure those supply chains can remain open.

“And in the same way that there are some of the supplies made on the continent, so too a huge amount of it is made onshore here in the UK.”

Mr Hancock said “constructive progress” had been made with the EU over the weekend, adding: “Following those decisions by the EU, I’m confident that we will be able to deliver supplies to everyone who needs it for their second dose.

“This is obviously something we keep a very close eye on.”

Matt Hancock said that the UK was also using its expertise to ensure that new Covid-19 variants are quickly identified.

“A mutation in one part of the world is a threat to people everywhere,” he said.

The Health Secretary said the UK has now identified 105 cases of the South Africa variant, 11 of which have no links to international travel.

He said that while there is no evidence the South Africa strain is more deadly, “we need to come down on it hard”.

Mr Hancock said the UK is “surging” extra testing into the areas where the new variant has been found and going door to door to conduct the testing.

The strain has been found in the following postcodes: W7, N17, CR4, WS2, ME15, EN10, GU21 and PR9.

Mr Hancock said it was “imperative” that people in these areas stay at home and get a test when it is offered to them, even if they have no symptoms.

NHS England’s Professor Stephen Powis said that NHS staff were “working hard” to make sure that housebound individuals that could not attend vaccination centres for their jabs were reached at home.

He told a Downing Street press conference that he was “confident” that the Government was on track to reach its vaccination targets including the clinically vulnerable.

“We will reach them, irrespective of whether they are able to travel into centres or not,” he said.

Dr Susan Hopkins said three of the vaccines that had been used in trials had shown to be effective against the new South African coronavirus variant.

“We expect all other vaccines to have a similar level of effectiveness, particularly in reducing hospitalisation and death,” she said.

Dr Hopkins added that further testing was taking place involving the South African variant so that predictions could be made with “greater robustness.”

Asked about plans for vaccinating extremely clinically vulnerable people, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We do have enough supply to be able to hit the target of offering everybody in groups one to four by the 15th of February and we’re working very hard to make sure everybody gets that offer.

“And then I’m very keen that everybody takes up that offer, that isn’t only through the GP services, although they are playing a huge role, but also through the mass vaccination centres and the hospitals.”

He added: “The rollout is happening on mass scale, as you can see by the numbers that we’re getting through and we’ve got the supply to be able to make that offer to everybody ahead of the 15th of February.”

Mr Hancock was also asked about why unpaid carers had not been not prioritised.

He said: “The critical thing is in category one we have those who work in care homes, and that obviously is the most important group to reach because that’s where people who are most vulnerable reside and then the other categories are determined by a clinical judgment, not by my judgment, we ask what is the appropriate order in order of how best to protect the population as quickly as possible.”