A patient receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination hub at Robertson House in Stevenage (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Boris Johnson says the government would move to a 24-hour, 7-day a week vaccination programme as soon as it could.

The Prime Minister added that there was a limit in supply of doses, but had plans to offer the jab throughout the night to those of the highest prioroty.

It came after predictions found under the current plan, the programme will not significantly ramp up again until March.

The Government has said repeatedly that the period between now and Feb 15 is vital to ensure the most vulnerable are vaccinated and lockdown can be lifted.

Ministers are investigating whether vaccines scheduled for delivery next month could be dispatched earlier, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A nurse draws up the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination hub at the Centre For Life in Newcastle
(Image: Getty Images)

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Meanwhile, the number of people in the UK to have been given a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is 2,639,309 million, according to Government data released on Wednesday, a rise of 207,661 from Tuesday's figures.

Some 91,417 first doses have been given in Northern Ireland, on top of the 2,254,556 in England, 101,371 in Wales and 191,965 in Scotland.

So far, 428,232 second doses have been administered in the UK, including 407,294 in England, 108 in Wales, 17,820 in Northern Ireland and 2,990 in Scotland.

People wait to receive their injection of a Covid-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination hub at Robertson House in Stevenage
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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In Northern Ireland there was a day-on-day rise of 7,230 first doses and 2,552 second doses.

It comes after Scotland announced a toughening of measures in the country with new rules set to come into force to help tackle the spread of the virus from Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said earlier that the UK is "taking steps" to keep out cases of a coronavirus variant discovered in Brazil.

Speaking to MPs on the Liaison Committee, he said the he was "concerned" about the variant, adding: "I think it's fair to say that there are lots of questions we still have."

But he refused to say if the UK had plans to close its borders with Brazil when quizzed by Health Committee chair Jeremy Hunt.