today at six: the oxford/astrazeneca vaccine is approved for use in the uk. another tool in the fight against covid — 100 million doses are on order — it will be rolled out from next week. we have two valid vaccines and we are racing to get them out. on the downside, there is a new strain of the virus which is spreading much faster and surging across the country. it comes as the number of deaths reported in last 2a hours jumps to 981. also tonight: with covid infections surging millions more in england head into tier 4 from midnight — three quarters of the population now face the toughest rules. and now schools are affected —
the majority of secondary pupils in england will not return to their classrooms till mid january. as mps vote overwhelmingly for borisjohnson‘s brexit trade deal, the prime minister says britain will have its cake and eat it. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the uk medicines regulator has approved the oxford astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine. along with the pfizer vaccine that's already been given the green light, it paves the way for light, it paves the way millions more people to be immunised for millions more people to be immunised in the new year. the uk government has ordered 100 million
doses. this oxford vaccine is much easier to transport and store it in the pfizer biontech one already envious. it can be kept in a standard for gender is also much cheaper at less than £3 a dose. the approval of the vaccine comes as the number of deaths from the coronavirus and the last 2a hours is nearly 1000. our medical editor has the details. the approval of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine, a fantastic achievement for a british science. it is a great day. this is a really significant moment. science. it is a great day. this is a really significant momentm science. it is a great day. this is a really significant moment. it is a game changing moment. this is the vaccine more than any other which will eventually bring coronavirus under control in the uk. transportable under control in the uk. tra nsportable at room under control in the uk. transportable at room temperature, it means every care home in the uk should now be in reach. the medicines regulator said no car
nurse had been cut in delivering a vaccine in record time. —— no corners. we are another step closer. our message is that you can have every confidence in the safety, effectiveness and quality of covid—19 vaccine astrazeneca. effectiveness and quality of covid-19 vaccine astrazeneca. the vaccine uses a covid-19 vaccine astrazeneca. the vaccine uses a gene covid-19 vaccine astrazeneca. the vaccine uses a gene from the spike shaped protein on the surface of coronavirus. this is put inside a modified harmless virus. the vaccine instructs human cells to make the spiked protein, which grants the immune system to create antibodies, which can recognise and destroy coronavirus. it stimulates t cells, which should destroy cells that have become infected. so just which should destroy cells that have become infected. sojust how effective is the vaccine? the latest estimate is it gets 70% protection against covid three weeks after the
first dose. the nhs will hold back giving the second dose of all covid vaccines until 12 weeks so more people can get protected. the most pragmatic thing to do is to give as many at—risk people as possible the first dose of the vaccine because we know from three weeks after that first dose there is a very good level of protection and nobody in the clinical trials at that point after their first dose was in hospital with covid or experienced severe disease. this is a race between the vaccine and the virus. that means getting millions of doses approved quickly. we are going to shipa approved quickly. we are going to ship a bit more than 500,000 doses this week. we will start on monday. from there we will rapidly escalate the deliveries. i think by the end of march we will be in a very different place. but many want to know is when will they get
immunised? how many people well the nhs immunised every week? surely it needs to be in the millions. the best a nswer needs to be in the millions. the best answer i can give at the moment is that we will have millions of doses, tens of millions of doses, by the end of march. we are working to get the programme going as fast as we can. i do not want to give you specific numbers at the moment. much of the production is done in the uk, like here in oxford. unlike the more expensive pfizer vaccine produced in belgium. there are manufacturing facilities like this all over the bar producing bulk quantities of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine. the aim is to have 3 billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021. to deliver a safe and effective covid vaccine in less than a year is a stunning achievement. the challenge
now, to ensure rapid roll—out to those who need it most. and fergusjoins me now. we now have two vaccines available to us. what does that mean at a time when cases are surging? we should celebrate the science. the team at oxford who produced it, those that astrazeneca had pledged not to make a profit from the vaccine at the tens of thousands of medical volu nteers tens of thousands of medical volunteers who took part in the trials. there have been various figures on the percentage effectiveness of the vaccine but the key m essa g e effectiveness of the vaccine but the key message is that one dose seems to protect people from serious covid infection and that will be crucial in taking pressure off the nhs and the uk is the first country in the world to approve two covid vaccines. the pressure will be on to roll—out these vaccines very fast. 25 million people are in the highest risk, the
over 65, front line health workers and adults with underlying health conditions. to give one dose each by easter means immunising 2 million people a week. a huge challenge. massive challenge. fergus, thanks. millions more people in england will be placed under tier 4 restrictions and asked to stay at home from midnight tonight. the health secretary matt hancock said the change was due to the rapid increase in cases in england fuelled by the new variant. three quarters of the english population will be under the toughest measures from tomrorow. after a tough year, another better setback. absolutely devastated again that we have just got going after reopening on the 2nd of december. we arejust reopening on the 2nd of december. we are just getting back on her feet again. how many more times can we be locked down? the bills keep rolling.
it is really difficult to keep coming back. in england more than three quarters of the population will be in the highest level of restrictions. matt hancock told mps the new more contagious covid variant was driving infection is up. u nfortu nately variant was driving infection is up. unfortunately there is no variant is spreading across most of england and cases are spreading fast. —— this new variant. it is necessary to apply tierfor two new variant. it is necessary to apply tier for two many other areas. this is a global crisis but a national emergency. our national health service is becoming overwhelmed. i hope the tearful restrictions are in naff but many believe even tougher restrictions are inevitable —— are enough. believe even tougher restrictions are inevitable -- are enough. some believe lockdowns can only do so much. it lasts for three or four
weeks and then it wears off so it is important that regardless of which tiers we are and we continue to take the test and maintain social distancing. rising case numbers are hurting the health service. already buckling under pressure in the south and east infections are growing in the north and west. but may has already been hit hard by the pandemic this year but has again seen a pandemic this year but has again seen a rapid growth in cases and it is not just businesses seen a rapid growth in cases and it is notjust businesses that will be affected, the local hospice depends on the money raised each year by a charity shops. it has been a huge hit. we have been fill throughout the pandemic. our services are also caring for more people in the community. to close our shops is a real kick to us. parts of england that have seen relatively low case numbers in recent months like taunton now find themselves in tier
1l taunton now find themselves in tier 4. it is clear we are heading into the new year in the middle of a second wave that is yet to show any signs of subsiding. it is a place no one wanted to be. our correspondent phil mackie is in birmingham. what's the reaction been? people expecting this? yes, this was the news that nobody wanted to hear but everybody expected to happen. most of the west midlands are nearly all of the east midlands will be in tier 4from tomorrow all of the east midlands will be in tier 4 from tomorrow morning, i all of the east midlands will be in tier 4from tomorrow morning, i ran 6 million people. the conservative mayor of the west met once told me it was a necessary step because of the pressure happening on the hospitals. we have just the pressure happening on the hospitals. we havejust heard the pressure happening on the hospitals. we have just heard from the chief executive of the trust that runs four big hospitals and he says it is the busiest he has seen in 25 years. he says most mornings may start with no extra beds and
they are getting 25 extra patients a day with the infection rate rising by 21% of the last week. people have been out today. there was a bit of a rush to get your hair cut and go to the shops before they close but tonight they are shutting and birmingham remains pretty much as deserted as it has been over the past couple of weeks. there is a call from the mayor of the west midlands for more government help. he thinks there needs to be more financial support for the hospitality sector. the night—time economy has been decimated and now the daytime economy is going to suffer as well. thank you. let's take a look at those latest government figures. there were 50,023 new infections recorded in the latest 2a hours. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week is now 40,1177. and 981 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test.
it means on average in the past week 500 deaths were announced every day. it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 72,548. our health editor hugh pym is here. matt hancock and the prime minister talking about this new vaccine that we have just heard those figures i have read out, the nhs under tremendous pressure. that is right, hospital admissions with covid patients have risen very sharply in london, the sophie and the east of england, particularly in the last few days. in other parts of the uk not quite so pronounced that the figures are getting a little bit higher in most areas. a very difficult situation. the overall picture with a chart showing the total number of patients with covid—19 in hospitals around the uk. the seven day average as the dark
line. you can see the previous peak in april was around 21,000, just over, it has now gone above that. a couple of examples we have had today of these front line pleasures. in essex health and care leaders have declared a major incident and that will involve asking for help from a local military base for army medics and nurses to come and help run community hospitals and london hospitals have requested support from their counterparts in yorkshire that if they get fill up at some point in the near future they might have to move patients up there. that has not yet been activated. thanks. secondary schools across most of england are to remain closed for face to face teaching for an extra two weeks for most pupils, to help regain control of coronavirus. the education secretary said exam year pupils would return a week earlier than their schoolmates on the 11th january. some primaries in parts of the south east with the highest infection rates will also
remain temporarily closed. here's our education correspondent elaine dunkley. when will the christmas holidays end and the school term start? a more infectious variant of coronavirus is causing chaos with timetables. today, the government announced that most primary schools will open as usual, but there will be delays for secondaries. pupils in exam years will return on the 11th of january. all other year groups will go back the following week. with schools, our best line of attack is to keep them open, using mass testing tools that we now have available, so that we can ensure that children are able to continue to gain the benefit of a world—class education. it's been a tough year in teaching. the coronavirus pandemic has put pressure on heads across the uk. we've got a challenge in reintegrating students back into school, into routines. about 75% of my time is now focused just on covid.
seven asymptomatic kids this week. every day is a covid day at school at the moment. the changes to the start of term have been welcomed by head teachers, but there is also frustration. only good of course, we want young people in school. of course, that's what we all do the job for. but safety has to come first, and the figures are terrifying at the moment. last term was difficult. this term, schools will also have to prepare for mass testing, and it won't be the end of remote learning. some students and teachers will still have to self—isolate. there is growing concern around vulnerable children and, for those sitting exams, there is increasing anxiety. at my college, at the start of the year, we did one week in school, one week out of school, and it's just really confusing. you never really know where you're at. it's a bit unfair, to be honest, because we have had our education disrupted. schools are on standby for more disruption and delay. in northern ireland, children are due to start school next week, but that's under review.
in wales, they could be back by the 11th but, in scotland, schools won't return until the middle of january. for millions of children, it's back to home learning. elaine dunkley, bbc news. the prime minister has told the bbc his new trade deal with the european union means britain will have its cake and eat it. but as mps voted overwhelmingly for the deal, more than four years after the referendum, he refused to acknowledge that new barriers to doing business with the eu will come into force in less than 48 hours only admitting that there will be "changes". he was speaking to our political editor laura kuenssberg. signing on the dotted line over there, then a short hop for the 1246 page document. the cargo of an raf plane to get back here. ready for boris johnson's signature. here it is. the man who campaigned for brexit,
became prime minister because of it, and now his deal, this day scrolled into history. what this deal does is it satisfies the request of the british people to take back control, and what that meant was that we now have the freedom to do things differently and do things better if we choose. in the knowledge that there are no barriers to... but, prime minister, that's factually not the case. it's not true that there will not be more barriers. you have got more political control, but you can't sit there and say that there won't be extra friction. there will be changes, and we've been very clear with people that they'll have to get ready forjanuary the 1st, that things will work differently, and at the same time we cannot only exploit the advantages of a zero tariff, zero quota deal with the eu. people said that that was impossible.
and they said that that was having your cake and eating it. so i want you to see this is a cake—ist treaty. so you are having your cake and eating it? you've said it. but there will be new barriers because, if you don't admit that, honestly now, aren't people going to be really peeved when they find out? all we are doing is, i think, solving what everybody said was a kind of impossible, you know, contradiction in terms. it is the only deal we have. it is a basis to build on for years to come. it is the only way to ensure we avoid no deal. an awkward moment for labour but only one mp voted against and a sprinkling of labour mps quit
the front bench to join others who are abstaining. i have the greatest respect for the result of the 2016 referendum, but this shoddy deal falls short. only one party is raging and officially voting against. we now finally know what brexit means, we have it in black and white. it means a disaster of a deal. it means broken promises, it means economic vandalism. but not a single tory mp voted against the deal. europe ended the careers of several of the prime ministers whose portraits lined this famous staircase. do you believe you have ended the conservative party's agony over europe? i am very hopeful that is the case. this is not the end of britain as a european country. many people will be worried that it is,
that emphatically is not the case. after yea rs it that emphatically is not the case. after years it is the end of one profound relationship and outwardly, at least, the calm start of another. but in the time to come, our relationship with the rest of europe may be no less complicated underneath. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. now, we'll leave you with some wintry scenes from the uk today. families have been making the most of the holidays and spending some time playing in the snow. children were out sledging near stourbridge in the west midlands. more snow and ice is forecast in scotland, north wales and northern england between now and the new year. that's all from the bbc news at six we're back at a quarter past ten now on bbc one we nowjoin the bbc‘s news teams where you are.
has urged people to redouble their effo rts has urged people to redouble their efforts to contain the virus, describing the country as being at a critical moment, with freedom within reach. at a downing street press briefing, borisjohnson reach. at a downing street press briefing, boris johnson explained that, due to a new guidance, the first dose of the newly approved at oxford—astrazeneca vaccine will vulnerable people can be vaccinated as quickly as possible. we have had new advice from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, but the first dose can protect people against the worst effects of this virus, because the benefits kick in after two or three weeks. and so, from now on, we will give a first dose to as many vulnerable people as possible, with the second dose to follow 12 weeks later. what that means is we can vaccinate and protect many more people in the coming weeks. i know that everyone watching this will want to know when
you can get your vaccine, and all i wa nt to you can get your vaccine, and all i want to say is that we are working as hard and as fast as we can to get the supplies to you as soon as we have the supplies. to summarise where we are, we have to face the fa ct where we are, we have to face the fact that we have got two big things happening at once in ourfight against covid. one is working for us and one is working against us. on the plus side, we have got two valid vaccines, and we are racing, as i say, to get them out. on the downside, there is a new strain of the virus which is spreading much faster and surging across the country, and we have seen a 40% increase in cases in england in the last week alone, almost 15% more patients in hospital, more than at the peak of the first wave, and yesterday, sadly, we recorded almost 1000 deaths across the uk, for the
first time since april. so, at this critical moment, with the prospect of freedom within reach, we have got to redouble our efforts to contain the virus, and that's why the health secretary has announced that more areas of england will be moving into tier 4from tomorrow. areas of england will be moving into tier 4 from tomorrow. and areas of england will be moving into tier 4from tomorrow. and i areas of england will be moving into tier 4 from tomorrow. and i say again, no one regrets these measures more bitterly than i do, but we must ta ke more bitterly than i do, but we must take firm action now, and that's why we have to think very hard about schools, because today, of course, it remains the case that keeping children in education is a national priority. it remains the case that schools are safe, but we must face the reality that the sheer pace of the reality that the sheer pace of the spread of this new variant requires us now to take even tougher
action in some areas, and that does affect schools, and let me set out to you what this means. in most of england, primary schools will still reassemble next week, as planned, for the new term. but, in the areas we have just published today on gov.uk, iam we have just published today on gov.uk, i am afraid the start of the new term will be to late until at least january the 18th, when the latest data on those infection rates will be reviewed. —— is they will be delayed. that is because the rate of transmission in these areas is so high, and there isjust such pressure on the local nhs that extraction is required to control the spread of the virus. —— extraction is required. the children of key workers or those considered vulnerable will still go back to primary schools from next week, wherever they live in england, and
they are not affected by today's announcement. in secondary schools, all vulnerable children and the children of critical workers will go back next week across england, as originally planned. we will ask exam year pupils in secondary schools to learn remotely during the first week of term, and return to the classroom from the 11th of january. the remaining secondary school pupils, non—exempt groups, will go back a week later, that is from the 18th of january. —— non—exam groups. iwant to stress that, depending on the spread of the disease, it might be necessary to take further action in their cases, as well, in the worst affected areas. to minimise disruption in schools and to fight the disease, we are massively expanding our testing operation,
ensuring that every secondary school pupil is tested as they return, and regularly thereafter. again, i want to thank teachers, pupils, parents, who have worked so hard to keep schools safe and keep them open. we are also asking universities to reduce the number of students who return to campus injanuary, prioritising medical courses and others requiring face—to—face teaching. in all cases, students should be offered two rapid tests when they return. all of these measures are, in the end, designed to save lives and to protect the nhs. and, for that very reason, i must ask you to follow the rules where you live tomorrow night, and see in the new year safely at home. that means not meeting up with friends orfamily that means not meeting up with friends or family indoors, unless
they are in the same household or support bubble, and avoiding large gatherings of any kind. some heavy on snow around in northern scotland, and it could stay wintering in northern and western parts in the coming days, with the risk of disruption. that is combined with ice. further heavy snow showers push into central and northern scotland, significant over the high ground, a few snow showers in western areas, central and eastern parts of the country will stay dry, with clear skies. some mist and fog patches and widespread frost and a risk of eye is pretty much anywhere. for new year's eve, tomorrow going to be largely dry and cold for central, southern and eastern parts. rainfor central, southern and eastern parts. rain for scotland and northern england, where the wintry showers western areas, and another cold day, to to6 western areas, and another cold day, to to 6 degrees. that's how new
hello. this is bbc news with me, george alagiah. hello and welcome to sportsday. i'm sarah mulkerrins. coming up... a second premier league game is cancelled in two days. fulham's trip to tottenham hotspur is off after more coronavirus cases at the visitors club. the bid for three is still on as two—time champion gary anderson make it through to the quarter—finals of the pdc world championships. and as surfing gets set for it's olympic debut, we speak the man in charge of the sport around the world who believes its appearance will prove a big hit. you're very welcome along to sportsday this evening. as cases of coronavirus