Coronavirus live: South Africa health workers to be given unapproved Johnson & Johnson vaccine in trial

South Africa to administer 80,000 doses of jab in large scale trial; Dutch ministers ask court to suspend its verdict until an appeal is heard

8.25pm GMT

At current rates, the NHS could offer a coronavirus vaccine to the 32 million people in the UK’s first nine priority groups by Easter – four weeks ahead of the official schedule – according to analysis by the Guardian.

Government and health sources have described the ambition as to “under-promise and over deliver” amid an expectation that short-term pressures on the supply of Pfizer vaccine in February can be compensated for in March.

Related: Revealed: NHS could offer Covid vaccine to 32m in priority groups by Easter

8.07pm GMT

South Africa has said it will offer its doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the African Union (AU) after suspending the vaccine’s use due to efficacy concerns.

The country halted its vaccine rollout, which was meant to begin with the AstraZeneca jabs earlier this month, after a study found the jab failed to prevent mild and moderate illness caused by a variant found in South Africa.

“The doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union to distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock,” health minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament.“There will be no wasteful and fruitless expenditure.”

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Source: theguardian