tv BBC News at Six BBC News December 8, 2020 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT
this programme contains flashing images. tonight at six: a world first as the pfize mass coronavirus vaccination programme gets under way in in the uk. margaret keenan, who's 91 next week, is the first person to get the jab — she calls it the best early birthday present she could have. i say go for it. go for it, because it's history, and it's the best thing that's ever happened. she's one of thousands to be given the first jabs across the uk today, with over—80s, care home workers and nhs staff among the first in the line. it's amazing to see the vaccine coming out, amazing to see this tremendous shot in the arm for the entire nation, but we can't afford to relax now. we'll be answering some of your questions about the vaccine and the path ahead.
also tonight: the uk and eu reach agreement on how rules in the brexit divorce deal relating to northern ireland's borders will work. white like the prime minister will travel to brussels tomorrow for talks with the head of the european commission. former england world cup winner steve thompson — who's been diagnosed with early onset dementia — is one of eight former players taking legal action against rugby's governing body. and the queen meets volunteers and key workers at windsor castle to thank them for their work during this pandemic. we are in one of the... and coming up in sport on bbc news: a big night of the. .. for ole gunnar solskjaer and manchester united as they look to avoid defeat against rb leipzig and reach the last 16 of the champions league. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. a day of history today at the end of a very long and difficult year
as the uk became the first country in the world to begin using a fully tested vaccine against coronavirus. 90—year—old margaret keenan was the first to get the pfizer jab at university hospital in coventry. thousands of people have been vacinated today. 800,000 doses of the pfizer biontech vaccine have already arrived in the uk. that's enough to vaccinate 400,000 people. the over—80s, care home workers and nhs staff will be among the very first to get the jab. more than 80 vaccine centres are being set up — most, for now, are in hospitals — and people will be called in for the vaccination. our health editor hugh pym was in coventry as the first vaccine rolled out. a warning — his report contains flashing images. an early morning hospital appointment, at first glance nothing out of the ordinary. but this was unlike anything before. margaret,
aged 90, was the very first patient to receive the newly approved coronavirus vaccine. applause there was a well deserved round of applause, and intense interest amongst media and health officials at this hospital vaccination clinic in coventry. she seemed to take it all in her stride. so, margaret, first of all, tell us, how was it for you? it was fine, fine. i wasn't nervous at all. it was really good, yeah. and what do you say to those who might be having second thoughts about having this vaccine? who might be having second thoughts about having this vaccine ?|i who might be having second thoughts about having this vaccine? i say go for it, go for it, because it's history, and it's the best thing that's ever happened. at the moment. so, do please go for it. that's what i say, you know? so, do please go for it. that's what isay, you know? if so, do please go for it. that's what i say, you know? if i can do it, well, so can you. the matron who administered the historic jab
well, so can you. the matron who administered the historicjab said this significance only sunk in afterwards. i do this all the time. i've done hundreds of vaccinations, but never with such interest, and people like wanting to know what's going on and wanting to actually witness it, so it was really surreal. it's a world first, it represents extraordinary progress by science, but for the nhs, this is a huge achievement, turning research into reality. around the uk, there we re into reality. around the uk, there were similar stories. in glasgow, the vaccine was delivered to the sec centre, with nhs staff among the first to receive the jabs. it's really exciting, lovely. you feel like you are a wee bit of history in the making. it's really lovely. in belfast, health staff queued to get theirjabs. the belfast, health staff queued to get their jabs. the policy belfast, health staff queued to get theirjabs. the policy is for those doing the vaccinations to be vaccinated first. the health service in general has struggled throughout the fight with covid—19, so it feels
like a momentous day. very privileged. at this vaccine centre in cardiff, one of seven in wales, more than 200 people have been booked in every day till friday. it's a good day for the whole country. the prime minister on a visit to a london vaccination centre, wanted to rein in people's expectations. i urge people to contain their impatience. it is a very exciting moment but there's still a lot of work to be done and a lot of discipline to be maintained. the head of nhs england was urging people not to turn up without appointments. wait to hear from the nhs. we will make contact with you. the vaccine is being made available to us from the manufacturers on a phased basis, so the bulk of the vaccination is going to be in january, february, march and april. the priority groups now include the over 80s. harry and ranjan, who spoke to arsenal yesterday, had theirjabs
spoke to arsenal yesterday, had their jabs together spoke to arsenal yesterday, had theirjabs together in newcastle, with badges to prove it. applause margaret certainly won't forget her vaccination, nor will nhs staff on a dramatic and momentous day which they can only hope marks a turning point. hugh pym, bbc news, coventry. the second person to be vaccinated in the uk today was a man called william shakespeare from warwickshire. he and margaret keenan were among thousands to get the jab at dozens of hospitals around the uk. 0ur correspondentjon kay has been hearing from some of them. a day so many have been waiting for, and at bristol's southmead hospital, first in the queue is jack. good morning. so i am a good morning. i'm 98, andi morning. so i am a good morning. i'm 98, and i suppose it's a bit of excitement. he's been in hospital for a excitement. he's been in hospital fora man excitement. he's been in hospital for a man having treatment for bone cancer, but he'll be heading home in a few days, so the vaccine that's just arrived should give him
protection from covid. so, we're going to give the injection in the top of yourarm, going to give the injection in the top of your arm, just here.|j thought that's what we came for, dear. that's exactly it. ijust didn't wantany dear. that's exactly it. ijust didn't want any surprises. no surprises and no hesitation. this vetera n surprises and no hesitation. this veteran of the second world war happy to follow orders. and this arm ﬂ°ppy, happy to follow orders. and this arm floppy, all right? bossy boots! that's why i'm in navy, sir. jack will still need to follow orders, even when he has had his second jab later this month, but he will finally be able to think about seeing his family again.|j finally be able to think about seeing his family again. i live in hope that in the middle of next year we will hopefully be living a normal life. lovely. i haven't seen him in so life. lovely. i haven't seen him in so long. bless him. jack was my granddaughter steph hasn't been able to visit because of his cancer and because of the thing like this, so she was delighted to see our pictures. she hopes the vaccine will
mean he can soon be with the great grandchildren he loves so much. he's such a social character, loves seeing people, sojust to be able to go and see him that bit more and not have the worry will be great. go and see him that bit more and not have the worry will be great! go and see him that bit more and not have the worry will be great. a hope echoed across the country today. in milton keynes, husband and wife arthur and barbara. she went first. i'd rather have the vaccine than have the covid—i9. i mean, if you are givena have the covid—i9. i mean, if you are given a choice, there's no contest. and in the bard's county of warwickshire, to jab or not to jab. this really is 81—year—old william shakespeare. it could make a difference to our lives from now on, couldn't it? the start of changing out couldn't it? the start of changing our lives and our lifestyle. you've made history today. back in bristol, no sign of any side effects for jack. thank you, all. grateful and finally able to plan a future. jon
kay, bbc news. well, it's the biggest vaccination programme in nhs history and the beginning of the road back to some sort of normality. the health secretary for england matt hancock says he hopes current restrictions will be lifted by the spring and people will able to go on summer holidays. 0ur health correspondent catherine burns looks at some of the big questions surrounding the covid jab. the first thing most people want to know is when they'll get the vaccine, and generally the answer is no time soon. we've got around 800,000 doses of this pfizer vaccine to start with. that's enough for 400,000 people. so, the plan is to start with the most vulnerable — over a tease, care home staff and some front line nhs workers. ——over—80s care home staff and some front line nhs workers. but even people in these groups might not get it until into the new year. one thing to remember is that the regulator is looking at other vaccines,
and when and if it approves them, it should speed things up. so, this is where that first vaccination happened this morning, and it's been going on all day. it's one of up to 70 hospital hubs across the country. they are starting with hospitals because they've got the freezers to keep this vaccine at —70 celsius. soon, before christmas, the hope is to get the vaccines out to care homes and some gp surgeries. and then, in the new year, there will be vaccination centres in conference halls and sports stadiums. we saw maggie keenan having her first injection this morning and saying she didn't feel a thing. well, more than 20,000 volunteers have had the pfizer vaccine during clinical trials, and a small number of them did experience some side effects. they were pretty mild — things like a sore arm or may be feeling a bit headache—y or tired for a few days. the immune system does start to kick in some after the first injection, but for this particular vaccine, after 21 days, patients need a second booster dose. and then, a week after that, they'll reach their full level of immunity.
so, if someone had it today, that would be on the 5th of january. 0ne really important thing to note, though, this vaccine is up to 95% effective, which means it works for most people but not absolutely everybody. this pfizer vaccine has been through rigorous safety checks, but there are some things we just can't know yet. for example, how long does it protect us for? we'lljust have to wait and see. another question is, does it stop the virus from spreading? so, we know that it stops people from getting sick, but we don't know if it also prevents them from getting infected in the first place and so passing it on to others. all this means that if you are one of the lucky few to have had the to social distancing. that report by catherine burns. so, a huge day, but this isjust the start of a vaccination programme that will last many months, and there's hope otherjabs could also be approved soon. 0ur medical editor
fergus walsh is here. if we take a step back, it is extraordinary that less then a year since the first cases of coronavirus we re since the first cases of coronavirus were diagnosed here in the uk, this vaccine were diagnosed here in the uk, this vaccine programme were diagnosed here in the uk, this vaccine programme is unfolding. it's a great day for science and humanity, and i think the first step ina very humanity, and i think the first step in a very long road to getting out of this pandemic. to have a highly effective vaccine in less than a year is astonishing. it was by no means certain bag in the spring. there are lots of viruses we don't have vaccines for. over the past 20 yea rs, have vaccines for. over the past 20 years, more than £10 billion has been spent on research trying to find a vaccine against hiv, without success. we don't just find a vaccine against hiv, without success. we don'tjust have one vaccine, we got several. we got the third night vaccine that looks effective. and then we have the 0xford astrazeneca vaccine that the uk has ordered 100 million doses of. today, that team were the first to
publish their trial results data in a peer—reviewed medicaljournal, really important for transparency. and if, as we hope, that vaccine is approved before the end of the year, that will really speed up the roll—out in spring 2021, because it doesn't need to be kept at ultralow temperatures, just in a fridge, and that will really help getting this pandemic and seeing the end of it at some point next year. fergus walsh, thank you. the latest government figures show there were 12,282 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week, is now 15,308. 1,359 people have been admitted to hospital on average each day over the week to last thursday. 616 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. that's almost 100 more than this time last week. it means on average in the past week, a28 deaths were announced every day.
it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 62,033. the prime minister will travel to brussels tomorrow to have dinner with the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, to try to unlock a post brexit trade deal. negotiations remain stuck with only weeks to go before the transition period ends at the end of december. the politicians hope that meeting in person will find a solution. 0ur deputy political editor vicki young has more. will there be a deal, prime minister? trade talks have run into trouble, and boris johnson will soon trade talks have run into trouble, and borisjohnson will soon need to ta ke and borisjohnson will soon need to take some difficult decisions. everyone is waiting to see if there isa everyone is waiting to see if there is a way through. i think the situation at the moment is very tricky. 0ur situation at the moment is very tricky. our friends have situation at the moment is very tricky. 0urfriends havejust got situation at the moment is very tricky. our friends have just got to understand that the uk has left the eu in order to be able to exercise democratic control over the way we do things, and then there is also
theissue do things, and then there is also the issue of fisheries, where we are a long way apart still, but hope springs eternal. there has been progress in another very tricky area. to avoid checks along the irish border, northern ireland will continue to follow some eu rules. but that means inspections on certain goods entering northern ireland from the rest of the uk. businesses there have been worried about extra paperwork and the impact on food and medicine supplies. how do you start to unpeeled the complexity that is northern ireland do not create any instability? so i think if the got some sort of solution today, albeit low, we would welcome it and we would be pleased, and we hope that with the detail come delete comes out, they have listened to our concerns. this has been a hugely complicated and controversial issue where economic considerations have had to be seen in the context of a delicate peace
process. positives have been difficult to find in recent days when it comes to brexit negotiations, but this is most certainly a very important positive for the island of ireland as a whole because what this does now ways it provides the guarantee is that ireland was my place in the single market and the issues around the border are now all settled. hopefully this is a signal that the british government is in deal—making mood. some see today's agreement as a positive sign for the broader trade talks, but don't forget, those arrangements in northern ireland will apply whether there is a deal or not, and eu sources say their chief negotiator, michelle barnier, has told european ministers we are now tilting towards no deal. and while politicians talk, the uncertainty while politicians talk, the u ncerta i nty affects while politicians talk, the uncertainty affects businesses everywhere. the manager of this sawmill in somerset says he is ready to adapt. we have to be as positive as we possibly can about it and move forward. we employ three, four
people and a couple of part—time workers, and to having to let people go is the worst thing for me, so my biggest fear is having to let staff members go if there are price increases and we become less efficient and if we go into recession. tomorrow, boris johnson heads to brussels for dinner with the president of the european commission, a last chance to find a breakthrough and a trade deal both sides can sign up to. vicki young, bbc news, westminster. 0ur ireland correspondent emma vardy is in belfast for us. there is in belfast for us. has been some progress on the how there has been some progress on the how to implement certain aspects of northern ireland problems in brexit. reaction there? a cautious welcome from businesses because after so much uncertainty, they have something they are able to plan for, but the devil will be in the detail that will be revealed tomorrow. as we we re that will be revealed tomorrow. as we were hearing, remember, from january, northern ireland enters a special arrangement where it remains closer to the eu than the rest of
the uk and no matter what happens, it means ports in northern ireland are gearing up for new paperwork and checks they've never had to deal with before. previously, boris johnson famously said to people worried about the irish sea border, don't worry, guys, by the time we are through with this, you will be able to chuck some of that paperwork in the bin. tomorrow we'll find out if that is really the case and just how much the burden of extra red tape on traders has been reduced and why that is important, is because it has a knock—on effect for the prices of goods that people pay for on the shelves. emma, thank you. the time is 6:18pm. our top story this evening: a world first, as 90—year—old margaret keenan is the first person to receive the pfizer vaccine as part of a mass vaccination programme. the biggest vaccination in nhs history. and with the mobo awards taking place tomorrow, we hear from nominees about the challenges they've faced during the pandemic. coming up on sportsday on bbc news.
motor racing's female—only championship — the w series — will be part of next year's formula one british grand prix weekend at silverstone. a group of former professional rugby players are planning legal action against the sport's governing bodies claiming that rugby has left them with permanent brain damage. 42—year—old steve thompson can't even remember being part of england's 2003 world cup triumph. he is one of eight former players, all diagnosed with early onset dementia, who are taking part in the legal action. if successful, it could change the way the game is played. the sport's world governing body says it takes player safety very seriously and uses the latest research in injury prevention. 0ur correspondent chris mcclaughlin has more. australia, 2003. and english rugby's greatest triumph.
i can't remember any of the games whatsoever. anything that happened in those games. former hooker steve thompson is a2. this month, he was diagnosed with early onset dementia. he blames repeated blows to the head. they were in scrummage sessions on the scrum machine and you are passing out, people are training, you get back up and you have these bright white lights around your eyes and you are not with it and suddenly you would be doing that time after time. they were just making us use our head constantly. 11 former professionals have recently been tested. all have early onset dementia. and now eight are preparing legal action. and so it is expected that next week a pre—legal letter will be delivered to the rfu, the wru and world rugby. it is a letter that has the potential to change the very fabric of the game. what it will say is that they are responsible for the permanent brain damage of players due to negligence.
it's widely accepted the game has become more physical in recent years, and rugby has tightened its concussion protocols. but is it enough? right, let's do colours... alex popham is a1. he played over 350 games of professional rugby, including 33 times for wales. in april, he was diagnosed with early onset dementia and could be in a care home by the time he is 50. as a a0—year—old, to hear that, it was upsetting for me, but even more so for mel, my wife. it's watching, but to describe it, it's like the light is fading gradually within him. and watching those changes. my biggest fear is for my daughter. my biggest fear is her losing her dad. experts who have studied the brains of these recently retired players say
they are most likely suffering from something called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or cte. a condition that can occur when the brain suffers numerous small, undetected traumas. it can result in memory loss, mood swings, and ultimately dementia. legal action is coming. a crossroads for rugby could follow. chris mclaughlin, bbc news. pupils across scotland will not sit either highers or advanced highers next year, after the country's education secretary john swinney announced the exams were being cancelled due to the covid—19 pandemic. 0ur correspondent alexandra mackenzie reports from glasgow. so we get to a stage in maths where we have to dispense with numbers. you policy should be looking forward to the christmas holidays after months of disruption —— pupils here. they have already missed one year of exams. now fifth and sixth years have just heard they will not be
sitting there highers and advanced highers. it takes off a lot of stress considering the people who have had to isolate. i have had to isolate and it's very difficult to catch up on the work you have missed. i'm pleased and also terrified, because i've not had the experience of sitting an exam. terrified, because i've not had the experience of sitting an examlj just feel like i would not be getting the same kind of experience as past years. the national fives had already been cancelled and there was pressure to also replace the highers with teacher assessment. this is safe, it is fair, and it better recognises the reality of the disruption that many pupils have had to their learning in the course of the last few months. at this school in glasgow, a quarter of its pupils, that's around 500, have had to solve isolate at least once. some have been off several times. 0ne senior teacher at the school welcomed the
decision, but has some reservations. is this assessment robust enough to stand up to possible moderation? at the end of the day, what we don't wa nt to the end of the day, what we don't want to do is get people to sit assessments and for them to come round and say, sorry, they don't stand up to scrutiny and you are inadvertently disadvantaging someone's potential future. inadvertently disadvantaging someone's potential futurem inadvertently disadvantaging someone's potential future. it was also confirmed in the scottish parliament that all 11 councils under the toughest level for coronavirus restrictions will move down to level three from friday, so nonessential shops and hospitality can reopen. alexander mackenzie, bbc news, glasgow. schools in england have been told they can start the christmas break early by inserting an in—service training day for friday the 18th of december. ministers say they want staff to have six clear days before christmas eve so teachers and head teachers do not have to assist with track and trace by identifying potential coronavirus cases through the festive break.
the queen and senior members of the royal family have met volunteers and key workers at windsor castle to thank them for their work this year. windsor marks the final stop on the duke and duchess of cambridge's tour of britain to pay tribute to individuals and organisations that have helped others during the pandemic. 0ur royal correspondent nicholas witchell reports. this report contains flash photography. it is the season to say thank you, most particularly if you area thank you, most particularly if you are a member of the royal family charged with expressing a nation's gratitude to all of those who have made the difference in this difficult year. so on the quadrangle of windsor castle, the queen was joined by mamas of herfamily of windsor castle, the queen was joined by mamas of her family for some festive cheer. —— members of herfamily. for some some festive cheer. —— members of her family. for some festive cheer. seasonal music, and gratitude, widely sprinkled to those who have done so much during the pandemic. william and kate where they are, having spent the last a8 hours on the royal train and meeting key workers in different parts of great britain. a simple enough idea, you might think, except that england,
scotla nd might think, except that england, scotland and wales all have slightly different covid—19 related restrictions. and as the royal train made its way to edinburgh and later to cardiff, it became clear that some scottish and welsh leaders had not entirely bought into the idea of a visit by william and kate. shortly before they arrived at cardiff castle this morning, the welsh health minister said he would prefer if there weren't, as he put it, unnecessary visits. he thought people might find it confusing. the prime minister later said that the tour had been a welcome boost to morale. and that, the raising of morale, is what this is all about. 0n the day when hope seemed a little more tangible with the start of mass vaccinations, the royal family more tangible with the start of mass vaccinations, the royalfamily came together to say thank you. nicholas witchell, bbc news. the mobo awards — the uk's biggest celebration of black music and culture — take place tomorrow, online though, because of the pandemic. the awards for music of black 0rigin started nearly a quarter of a century ago.
but this year has proved more challenging for artists than ever before as colleen harris explains. a warning — her report does contain flashing images. it's been going for nearly 25 years, celebrating some of the biggest names in music of black origin. make some noise explanation unlike previous years, tomorrow's event is a briefing on the virtual ceremony. thank you from the bottom of my heart again. thank you to eve ryo ne of my heart again. thank you to everyone that voted for me, to my brothers that support me. there is no live audience but they are train new technology to bring an immersive experience. it is a year like no other, so we are producing a show like no other. and so, for us, it was about using the power of black culture to bring people together. its return after a two—year hiatus follows a year of highly charged black lives matter protests, a
movement that prompted the founder of the mobos to pen an open letter to the culture secretary. we have seen a to the culture secretary. we have seen a solidarity which is so powerful and impactful, so i would say to any creative, look to see how you can connect, how you can work together and how you can find a support system. 20 years ago, i was here ina support system. 20 years ago, i was here in a different capacity. i was lucky enough to win one of these, so i know first—hand how much it means to an up and coming artist, but so much has changed in the music industry, especially in the year. singer songwriter mahalia is nominated for three awards tomorrow, including best female and best album. it is an achievement she says has come at a time when musicians are relearning what it means to be an artist. i haven't done any live performances, which is strange, because i basically spent the whole of last year on the road, and, yeah,
it's been a real, real roller—coasters, emotionally and physically. it has been strange, but i'm trying to stay hopeful about it because i am sure i will get back on stage next year. untilthen, the mobos are showcasing all music of black origin in a year when it needs the support now more than ever. coueen the support now more than ever. colleen harris, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. thank you, sophie. there was not as much fog around today in england but it is beginning to thicken up in places this evening. further north, a good day to have a big umbrella handy as the rain came tumbling down. it's been a wet day across north wales and the north west of england and the heavy rain moving down into the midlands followed by showers. ahead of the wet weather we have temperatures tumbling with a frost developing across parts of east anglia and the south—east of england and patchy, dense fog as well but that will tend to get
washed away later in the night as the wetter weather moves down and the wetter weather moves down and the rain could still be heavy with showers continuing further north, but clearer skies developing in northern ireland, wales and the south—west and the odd pocket of frost here, but generally speaking, frost here, but generally speaking, frost free by the morning. we have some wetter weather to clear away from east anglia and the south—east and then skies will brighten in many areas and we will have a few showers although they are diminishing and through the afternoon the cloud will thicken in northern ireland and west wales and the south—west of england with rain coming in from the west. ahead of that, light winds, cold air and temperatures of six or 7 degrees. the wetter weather coming in from the west is not going to reach eastern areas because that weather front is breaking reach eastern areas because that weatherfront is breaking up reach eastern areas because that weather front is breaking up and most of the rain will be heading down into france, so the weather front brakes into two and we have rain to clear away from southern areas, moving south, patchy rain continues in western scotland may be giving wintry notes over the high lines and further east there might be rain or drizzle but if it does
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