this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. britain announces plans to start mass immunisation against coronavirus from next week after uk regulators approved the pfizer and biontech vaccine in record quick time. the prime minister hails the achievment. we have been waiting and hoping for the day when the searchlights of science would pick out our invisible enemy and now the scientists have done it. a tough warning on climate change from the un secretary—general. in a special bbc broadcast, antonio guterres says we face a moment of truth. the state of our planet is broken. immunity is waging war on nature.
this is suicidal. nature always strikes back and it is doing so with gathering force and fury. and valery giscard d'estaing, the french president who oversaw sweeping social reforms, has died at the age of ninety—four. just how britain plans to roll out a mass vaccination campaign against coronavirus in the next few weeks is becoming clearer, just hours after uk regulators announced they had approved one in record quick time. borisjohnson acknowledged it would be a massive logistical exercise that has never been attempted before. millions of doses of the pfizer—biontech vaccine will arrive in the next few days. but the prime minister and his top medical advisers warned it would still take months to get
the jab to everyone who wanted it and strict rules needed to stay in place. our medical editor fergus walsh reports. this is an historic moment. at last, there is a clear path out of this pandemic, thanks to vaccination. the uk is the first country in the world to approve the pfizer/biontech vaccine, seen here on the production line in belgium. the prime minister made clear the vaccine won't change life for now, but hope is on the horizon. prime minister, now we have a vaccine, how important is this moment? when you consider the damage that, as i was saying earlier, the damage that this virus has done to human life across the planet, the economic damage, the social damage, to say nothing of the cost in life and suffering, it is a fantastic moment. more than 20,000 volunteers got two doses of the vaccine as part of the trials.
it proved 95% effective at preventing covid, even among those in their 70s and 805. side—effects were mostly mild. a small minority suffered headaches and fatigue. the independent medicines regulator, the mhra, began work on covid vaccines injune, and for the past two months has been reviewing more than 1,000 pages of data on pfizer's trials. no corners have been cut. our expert scientists and clinicians have worked round—the—clock, carefully, methodically, poring over tables and analyses and graphs on every single piece of data. creating a completely new vaccine usually takes at least ten years, from design and development through trials to regulatory review and production. this has been compressed to less than a year. many stages were done in parallel, and pfizer began vaccine
production at their own risk, even before they knew it worked. 800,000 doses of the vaccine should arrive in the uk within days. a0 million have been ordered in total, enough to immunise 20 million adults. but the vials have to be transported from belgium in special containers at an ultra low temperature. it's like a pizza box. they then get put into a thermal shipper, packed with dry ice, that then maintains the temperature at —70, if unopened, for ten days. the committee which advises the government on immunisation says the elderly and front—line health and care workers should be first in line. we are suggesting that vaccines are offered in order to protect people who are most at risk of dying
from covid—19, as well as to protect health and social care services, because by doing so, we also protect lives. age is by far the single most important factor in terms of risk from covid—19. getting rid of social distancing and other restrictions next year will depend on tens of millions of us being vaccinated. we need people to take it. this vaccine isn't going to help you if you don't take it. and you will need two doses of this vaccine, and most of the others, to have full protection. more covid vaccines could be approved within weeks. the goal then, to immunise notjust the uk, but the world. fergus walsh, bbc news. both downing street and the uk medicines regulator appeared fergus walsh, bbc news. both downing street and the uk medicines regulator appeared to contradict a claim by matt hancock, the health secretary, that swift approval of the vaccine had been possible
because of brexit. the mhra said the supply had been authorised, using provisions under existing european law, which are still in place until new years' day. rolling out the vaccine will be a huge logistical exercise, which could also be affected by a post—brexit deal, as the supplies will come from belgium. 0ur health editor hugh pym explains. the nhs is ready, though it has a huge task starting next week vaccinating first its staff, and other priority groups. and those likely to receive the jabs, including nurses who went through the first wave, know how important that is. working as an icu nurse, especially in the first search, a lot of the nurses were living away from home and were concerned about bringing it home to their families. if we do have the vaccine, it means we can get back to living a more normal life. life has not been normal for the past several months. the official first phase priority list is headed by care home residents and carers,
followed by the over 80s and front line health workers, then lower age groups and younger adults with health conditions. but it will be nhs and care staff and the over 80s who actually get it first. health leaders say hospitals will be the focal point next week. the idea for the first phase is that we concentrate on nhs hospitals delivering this vaccine, because of the particular requirements of the pfizer vaccine. but care homes are now wondering what all this means for their residents and why they don't now appear to be top of the list. it's really disappointing. and obviously there is potential applications for our residents as well, should we get another outbreak of covid. then they are more likely to suffer some serious consequences of that. one reason is the way the doses are packed. it's emerged that approval by regulators is still required to allow them to be broken down into smaller consignments, to be taken into care homes. as soon as we have the regulatory sign off that we can do that,
we can get the jabs to the care homes so that the gps and nurses can then arrive and give the care home residents that covid vaccination, we will do that. in northern ireland, officials have set aside a new hospital emergency department as one of seven designated vaccination sites. the scottish government also plans to prioritise health and care staff. the first vaccines against covid will be administered in scotland on tuesday the 8th of december. so, you can perhaps understand why i have probably smiled more in the last few minutes then you have seen me do in several months. there is now an accelerating drive to set up vaccination hubs for the wider population, including one at epsom racecourse. even a village hall in surrey is being prepared as a site for vaccinations in the local community. the new vaccine is on the way from pfizer's belgian plan. it's a shot in the arm for ministers.
they'll hope that brexit doesn't affect the continued smooth running of this vital supply chain in the new year. hugh pym, bbc news. i'm joined now by paul duprex, a virologist and he is the director of the center for vaccine research at the university of pittsburgh in the us. everybody is racing to get this approved. what do you make of the speed with which the uk regulatory authorities and hra have passed this and cleared this vaccine for use in the uk? . ithink it is a and cleared this vaccine for use in the uk? . i think it is a testament to the hard work of the regulatory agency and the individuals who have poured over these thousands of pages of documents. and looked at the data in great depth and done their absolute utmost to get all of the data reviewed carefully and methodically as scientists do come and get it to the point where the agency are happy to say let's get
this vaccine into the arms of individuals in the united kingdom. is there a different from the way the uk's mhra would do that compared to the fda in the us? of course they are under immense pressure, not least from president trump to get a vaccine approved. absolutely. all of the agencies are under immense pressure. but we have to remember that science is not politics and politics is not science. we have to disassociate those two things. from the approval of this vaccine. that isa the approval of this vaccine. that is a matter if it is in the united states or the united kingdom or elsewhere in europe. we have to take us elsewhere in europe. we have to take us off the political spectrum input into the hands of the regulatory, the agencies, that is important, and thatis the agencies, that is important, and that is critical. we have a different way of doing it in the fda and looking at thousands of pages of data as well and that will come in due course and i think they will meet on december ten here so we are
a little bit behind but that is a matter of days not a matter of months. do you think has anything to do with the fact the fda had been really criticised for granting emergency at authorisations to things like hydroxychloroquine and also convalescent plasma in effect they had to resend the former authorisation, had they had their fingers burned and are now a little bit reticent to go forward as quickly? i do think the fda are a group of very professional and highly motivated individuals and not every decision is perfect. remember we are in a global pandemic and i think what we have to remember that the regulatory agencies need to be considered as human beings as well. they might not have made the best decisions in the past and people do get the opportunity to change their minds, i hope that in this instance, we are able to follow what has
happened in the united kingdom and that the mhra vaccine will be improved in the united states before christmas. talking about the 10th of december. we will watch that date and i'm sure we'll come back to you. thank you, paul for your time. like to talk to you. one of the most influential european politicians of the past half—century, the former president of france, valery giscard d'estaing, has died at the age of 94. his family say he died of complications linked to covid—i9. giscard d'estaing was president from 1974 to 1981, and his time in office included periods of economic crisis and industrial unrest. his domestic achievements included the development of france's nuclear energy industry and the creation of the tgv high speed train network. in 2013, he gave an interview to bbc‘s newsnight warning the of the problems the european union would face if it did not reform
things were going well more or less. in1990, we things were going well more or less. in 1990, we were 12, including britain, germany, france. we knew each other. we were in similar positions, more or less identical. and then we had a wave of new mps who pushed us from 12 to 28. and we didn't change anything. the position, the way... so we adapted to the present admission. record to come who has passed away, speaking a few years ago to
newsnight. —— giscard d'estaing, who has passed away. stay with us on bbc world news, still to come: as the un secretary—general warns urgent action is needed to tackle climate change — we'll be in fiji where entire islands could be swallowed by rising sea levels. it's quite clear that the worst victims of this disaster are the poor people living in the slums which have sprung up around the factory. i'm feeling so helpless that the children are dying in front of me and i can't do anything. charles manson is the mystical leader of the hippy cult suspected of killing sharon tate and at least six other people in los angeles. at 11:00 this morning, just half a metre of rock separated britain from continental europe.
it took the drills just a few moments to cut through the final obstacle and then a miner from calais was shaking hands and exchanging flags with his opposite numberfrom dover. this is bbc news, our top story... the uk is the first country to approve the pfizer vaccine. prime minister borisjohnson says it is a momentous moment. tens of thousands of farmers are continuing their protest against planned government reforms of the sector in india. they've camped out for the past week on key highways leading to the capital delhi with tractors, trailers and food trucks. after an inconclusive round of talks earlier this week, farm leaders and the government are meeting again on thursday. the bbc‘s nitin srivastava reports.
farmers in india are angry. tens of thousands have travelled hundreds of miles, swarming the borders of india's capital and blocking highways. translation: i assure you, that we will die but not let our lands be taken. we don't care about winter. 0ur elders are strong and we have enough ration and medical supplies to support us in this crisis. protesting farmers want the government to withdraw a recent law allowing private players to buy their produce. they're also apprehensive because the existing government policy of guaranteeing a minimum price for selling crops is missing from the new law. violent clashes between farmers and police have now matured into a massive
peaceful protest. they feel the government should have consulted each one of them before taking certain positions which affects their livelihoods, their families and their farmlands. translation: if the local procurement system is abolished, the farming produce will rot. and there won't be any buyers. even if somebody offers to buy the price to buy, the price offered will be far less. we will be left without any choice but to sell below cost. while the government insists that farming reforms will grant more freedom to farmers in selling the produce to private companies, including multinationals, its certain security remains. promise of the higher price for the farmer, the promise of getting vitamins in the market, the promise of linking you with the world value chain and getting you a better income in the long run. all these have not been able to impress the
farming community in any form. the farming community instead, they have had very bitter lessons from such promises from government the last 25 to 20 years. earlier this week, canadian prime ministerjustin trudeau expressed support for protesting farmers. the indian government reacted sharply, saying it is an internal matter. as the protests continue, finding a middle ground looks a daunting task. "0ur planet is broken — humanity is waging war on nature and nature is striking back with growing force and fury. that's the warning from the un secretary—general antonio guterras in a special bbc broadcast. his words come as we learn that this year is one of the warmest on record, despite pandemic lockdowns. as part of his landmark address on the state of the planet the un secretary—general said now is the time for urgent action if we are to bring the planet back from the point of no return. our environment correspondent
justin rowlatt reports. as if suffering a pandemic wasn't enough, now we learn that 2020 is on track to be one of the three hottest years ever recorded, and that is not all. the past decade, obviously, is the warmest on record, and the last six years are the warmest years on record. the bad news is even the covid—19 lockdowns haven't made a difference. the coronavirus restrictions imposed around the world may have shut down our cities and lead to a small reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but the world meteorological 0rganisation is saying today it hasn't been enough to stop the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from continuing to increase. the un chief, antonio guterres, told the bbc today global action is needed now. let's face facts, the state of our planet is broken.
humanity is waging war on nature. this is suicidal. the science is clear. for example, unless the world cuts fossil fuel production by 6% every year between now and 2030, things will get worse, much worse. i've been talking about this for a long, long time... sir david attenboroughjoined him to warn time is running out. young people are very impatient, and quite rightly so. for nothing to come out, except words, is very dispiriting. we need action. the un chief says the world now faces a moment of truth. he says the choice is very simple. start cutting carbon emissions now — or face disaster. justin rowlatt, bbc news. let's take you to the south pacific now and the threat to islands that could be swallowed by rising sea levels. in fiji, three villages have been forced to relocate and 80 more are waiting to be moved.
here's the perspective of one activist, on the impact of climate change in oceania, and a question for the secretary—general. my from the fiji islands. the pacific islands contribution to greenhouse gas emission in the atmosphere is negligible. but they suffer disproportionately the effects of global warming. in my lifetime alone, i have seen sees rise much faster than the global average, warming oceans, more intense weather events. for a lot of villages that have to relocate because of sea level rise, it is very dramatic. there is a lot of culture lies in the sense of identity is at stake here. we keep pushing to tell the story that the pacific islanders are not just story that the pacific islanders are notjust mere victims of climate change. we are also innovative, driven, young people that are doing what we must to protect our island homes from runaway climate change. i
alongside many other pacific islanders have been speaking out and fighting against climate change for yea rs. u nfortu nately, fighting against climate change for years. unfortunately, we do not believe enough progress has been made internationally. in your opinion, what will it take for high carbon emitting countries to take action and define the fossil fuel industry? answer to fenton‘s question. action and defund the fossil fuel so let's find out the un secretary—general antonio guterres' answer to fenton‘s question. what will it take to defund the fossil fuel industry? first of all, we need to stop fossilfuel subsidies. i have been asking for that since a long time ago, and the governments are still spending the taxpayers money, our money, to subsidise fossil fuels that then contribute to destroy the planet and it doesn't make any
sense that our money is used to destroy our own planet. and so the first measure is stop forcing fuel subsidy. the second measure that is essential to stop the construction of coal—based power plants. and stop the financing of coal in the world. and i see there is problems that we still have many countries that are exporting coal power plants and financing them. and finally, it is important also to redirect finance into renewable energies. well fenton loota—narter—bowa who posed that question to the secretary—general, is the director of the climate activism organisation ‘350 pacific'. joins us now from pacific harbour in fiji. i would swap places with the right now. i can tell you that. are you satisfied with what antonio gutierrez has said? thank you so much for having me. i thought his response and over all call to action this morning is incredibly spot on.
it is critical that high carbon emitting countries define the fossil fuel industry, whether it is coal, oil or gas. it is imperative that that they help people in the planet is always prioritised. at the minute, we are faced with the dual crisis of covid—19 and climate change. and as he crossed so rightfully said, fossil fuel subsidies which formed the most carbon emissions that impact people and the planet must be stopped. but she heard the secretary general talking about stopping fossil fuel subsidies and get you have countries that are particularly essential in eastern europe will continue to use it and build new plants, call myers, and yet you are community faces the cost of that. you are not frustrated that this is continuing to happen yet we have known about this for so many years? absolutely. it is no
secret that the group of pacific islands, one of the most vulnerable nations in the climate crisis, sea—level rise, on the oceans, intense weather events like cyclones and droughts, already near reality for many of our people across the pacific. what he said this morning about the governments spending taxpayers money to destroy our planet really resonates with me in the work we do in the pacific. in fa ct the work we do in the pacific. in fact right now, a network of young pacific islanders are pulling themselves and working with partners across the region to stop any empowered giant from building a climate wrecking coal mine the carmichael call mine. this mine would be one of the biggest in the world and right now the state bank of india is poised to execute an
australian $1 billion loan for this mine. if approved, the lifetime carbon emissions from this mine alone would be 20 times i'll show you's current annual emissions. and you're pressurising the state bank of india to not go ahead. we are at a time but thank you so much. 350 .org is the website. thank you for watching. —— we are at a time. hello there. over the next few days, the weather is going to take on more of a wintry flavour. now, today we had a band of cloud producing a little light rain or drizzle that's been moving through the midlands and should be clearing away from southeastern parts of england this evening. following on from that, though, we have some showers as the air‘s got colder. a lot of showers, actually across western parts of scotland, and we are all going to feel cold over the next couple days or so. wetter weather arriving, most of it will be rain, there will be sleet in there, snow is more likely over the hills, particularly in the north. that colder air has been sweeping
its way down across the country, we develop an area of low pressure. that's responsible for the wetter weather and the threat of some snow as well. that colder snowy weather is starting to arrive, actually, in the showers across northern ireland, but particularly in scotland to quite low levels. and it's going to be icy as well for scotland and northern ireland. here, we're more likely to have a frost. not quite as cold for england and wales. cloud will be increasing later on in the night, and we'll see some wetter weather coming into wales and the southwest. a wet day here, i think, on thursday. that cloud and outbreaks of rain push through the midlands towards east anglia and the southeast. northern england, something a bit brighterfor a while, but a few wintry showers. the wintry showers in scotland and northern ireland should get pushed away, so it's turning drier through the day with more sunshine. but it's going to be cold here. temperatures onlyjust a few degrees above freezing. the highest temperatures will be towards the south coast of england, where we have rain developing, of course. and we could see some heavy rain tomorrow night in the southeast of england.
this weather system around the low pressure though could be more significant in scotland and bring some travel disruption. snow falling early in the morning, quite widely in scotland, some heavierfalls over the hills. tending to turn back to rain through the day. and near the center of the low, we've got this weather stuck in northern england, the midlands and east anglia. that's going to bring a bit of snow to the high ground and could bring some sleet to lower levels as well. now, the details still could change, but at the moment, it looks drier across south wales and the southwest of england. still a cold day everywhere and windy around coastal areas as well. now, as we head into the weekend, things start to calm down a bit. we're still in the cold air, mind you, but it is gradually turning drier. still some patchy, what is mostly rain, i think, on saturday, looks generally dry though on sunday. the winds are falling lighter as well, still chilly by day, and a risk of frost at night.
this is bbc world news. the headlines... britain will be the first country to start mass immunisation of its population after giving emergency approval to the vaccine developed by pfizer and biontech. speaking at downing street, prime minister borisjohnson said it was a momentous moment. the first doses are already on their way to the uk, with 800,000 due in the coming days. elderly people in care homes and care home staff have been placed top of the priority list. valery giscard d'estaing, who served as president of france from 1974 to 1981, has died at the age of 94. he's considered to have been a key architect of european integration. the united nations says 2020 is on course to be one of the hottest three