The UK has approved a new Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca as millions more people were plunged into the toughest Tier 4 lockdown restrictions.
The jab, which has been described as a “game changer”, was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vaccine is a “great British success story” and that 530,000 of doses will be available for rollout from Monday.
But he announced in the Commons that far more parts of the country are now entering Tier 4 than before, with most other areas moving to Tier 3.
The Midlands, parts of the North East and North West and parts of the South West are among those areas escalated.
An additional 20 million people will moved to the highest tier. This means a total of 44 million people will now be in Tier 4, or 78% of the population of England.