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The Papers: NHS ‘vaccine vow’ and GP services ‘to be cut’

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By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration1 hour agoimage captionWednesday’s front pages focus on the health service’s plans to deliver a coronavirus vaccination to the nation. The Times claims a million people a week could be vaccinated as the NHS looks to ensure “a jab is administered as quickly as it is manufactured”.image caption”Don’t screw it up” is the…

By BBC News
Staff

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image captionWednesday’s front pages focus on the health service’s plans to deliver a coronavirus vaccination to the nation. The Times claims a million people a week could be vaccinated as the NHS looks to ensure “a jab is administered as quickly as it is manufactured”.
image caption“Don’t screw it up” is the headline in the Metro, which quotes a member of the government’s vaccine task force, Sir John Bell, as saying life could be back to normal by Easter providing the government “don’t screw up” distributing the vaccine. The paper says he told MPs there was a 70 to 80% chance the pandemic could be over by spring.
image captionThe health secretary says the military is on standby, along with NHS staff, to roll out the first doses of a vaccine from next month, according to the i newspaper. It also carries a warning from experts that the logistical operation will be “unprecedented” in its scale and complexity.
image captionThe Daily Express leads on a vow from the NHS that “it is ready” to deliver millions of anti-Covid injections “round the clock” before Christmas. It quotes Prof Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, who says that “despite the complexities” the NHS will be ready “from day one”.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph calls it “one of the biggest immunisation drives in British history”, saying the NHS has been instructed to prepare for mass Covid vaccinations of the public from 1 December. It says retired doctors and medical students will be drafted in as part of the plans to offer jabs at GP practices and drive-through centres which will be open for 12 hours a day.
image captionGP services will be cut back well into next year to enable doctors to carry out a mass Covid immunisation programme, claims the Guardian. It says health leaders have warned that family doctors will not be able to offer their full range of care from next month because doctors and nurses will be “immersed in administering jabs”.
image captionThe Daily Mail leads on its own vaccine poll, which it claims shows that three in four Britons say they would have a Covid jab, including nine in 10 elderly people. Only 7% said they would not have it under any circumstances, it adds.
image captionFor the Daily Star, the focus is on the reaction from Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid to the news of a vaccine – the paper says she had a “When Harry Met Sally moment” as she held up its cheeky “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” headline from yesterday.
image captionAway from coronavirus, the Daily Mirror claims that criminals are feared to have been working in children’s homes to recruit kids as drug runners. The paper says its own investigation found that four workers have been quizzed by police.
image captionAnd finally, Amazon has been hit with competition charges by the EU over the way it has handled sellers’ data, reports the Financial Times. It says the online retailer has been accused of boosting its own-label products and services.

Most of the papers lead with the UK’s vaccination plans – and they are in little doubt about the daunting scale of the task.

“Colossal” says the Daily Express, while the Times points out a million people will receive the jab every week.

The Guardian’s lead explores the knock-on impact on GP surgeries as doctors and nurses become immersed in giving out the jab at sports halls, conference centres and open air venues. It says family doctor services will be cut back well into 2021 because of the drive.

The Royal College of GPs is quoted in the Daily Telegraph calling for their members to receive clarity on what work they should stop doing.

The Daily Mail has carried out polling on the vaccine – suggesting three quarters of Britons will be happy to receive it, including 90% of elderly people. But four out of 10 call for the prime minister and fellow politicians to receive the jabs first, to show they’re safe. The i newspaper says teachers want to be included on the list of those who are top of the list to be inoculated.

The vaccine’s success has led to a surge in holiday inquiries, according to the Times. Two travel firms tell the paper that interest has risen by more than 70% week-on-week – with many people making bookings for the spring of next year.

According to the Daily Mirror’s lead, it is feared that criminals are working in children’s homes to recruit kids as drug runners.

The paper focuses on one home in Lancashire where whistleblowers warned that drugs were repeatedly found – as well as mobiles and bags used for dealing.

It says others reported smelling cannabis on the premises as well as in staff cars, and described how dealers would phone the house to speak to the boys living there.

image copyrightDowning Street

The Daily Telegraph believes that Boris Johnson pulled off a “major diplomatic coup” by speaking to Joe Biden before EU leaders.

The Express thinks this will boost hopes of a US trade deal, although the Financial Times cautions the diplomatic niceties were accompanied with a firm message on Brexit and the importance of preserving peace in Northern Ireland.

The Times believes the priority awarded to London will be regarded as an achievement for Dame Karen Pierce – Britain’s ambassador to Washington – who has been building relations with the Biden team.

But the paper says Downing Street was left embarrassed after a close analysis of its tweet congratulating Mr Biden on his electoral success revealed it had been superimposed on a message welcoming Donald Trump’s win.

Chris York, writing in HuffPostUK, blames “incompetence” and “ineptitude” in Whitehall. A government spokesperson admitted there had been a “technical error”.

And “Jurassic Clark” is how the i newspaper describes Greg Clarke, who resigned as Football Association chairman after using a racially offensive term and making inappropriate remarks in evidence to MPs.

The Mail describes the “catalogue of gaffes” as a “car crash”. The Sun’s chief sports writer, Dave Kidd, says no-one is suggesting he’s a racist – but the organisation clearly needs to be led by someone who isn’t a “bumbling duffer capable of stumbling into casual racism”.

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