Great Britain

Coronavirus LIVE as first batches of vaccine arrive in the UK

The first doses of the UK-approved Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the UK.

It comes after the medicines regulator defended the vaccine after an American infectious disease expert questioned the level of scrutiny.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned the speed at which the UK approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could undermine confidence in the jab.

Dr Fauci told CBS American regulators would do a “more thorough job”, although he later backed away from the comments, saying he was not implying sloppiness on the part of British authorities, in whom he had “great faith”.

However, with the first doses of the vaccine now believed to have arrived in the UK, there was still confusion over who would receive it first.

Scotland is planning to deliver the jabs into care homes from December 14, but NHS England is not committing to a date.

Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter

You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here

The coronavirus death toll in the UK passed the 60,000 mark, jumping to 60,113 after a further 414 fatalities were announced on Thursday.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer jab, enough to vaccinate 20 million people, with 800,000 doses expected to arrive by next week.

The MHRA said data had been rigorously assessed in the shortest time possible, without compromising thoroughness.

It said Covid-19 vaccines are being developed in a co-ordinated way that allows some stages to happen in parallel, but it doesn't mean steps and standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been bypassed.

Scroll down for live updates throughout the day.....

Football news:

Barcelona would not consider Messi's participation in the game with Athletic if it were not for the trophy match
Jurgen Klopp: Manchester United are now flying forward and we have difficulties. But we are not so far from the top of the form
Klopp on hugs: If it was a threat to the players' health, we wouldn't do it. The pitch is a safe place
Mourinho to Bale in training: Do you want to stay here or go back to Real Madrid and not play football?
Paul Pogba: The match against Liverpool will be a battle. Manchester United need to keep calm
Roten on Mbappe: He's getting worse with his teammates. When Kylian is successful, he is like Ronaldo
Lampard 1-0 with Fulham: Chelsea pressed, and there was a feeling that we would score. It was important to be patient