HEALTH SECRETARY Matt Hancock is expected to lead a press conference on Coronavirus later today.

The 5pm press briefing comes after the vaccination project is rolled out to people age 42 and over.

People in England who are aged 42 and over, or those who will turn 42 before July 1, can now arrange their vaccine appointment through the national booking website.

Matt Hancock said he was “standing by” his phone waiting for a text message as he was now eligible for the jab.

Aa new study has also found that a single does of the vaccine can slash the risk of household transmission by up to 50 per cent.

The study found that people given a single dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines – and who became infected at least three weeks later – were between 38% and 49% less likely to pass the virus on to people living in their homes, compared to those who were unvaccinated.

Matt Hancock said: “This is terrific news – we already know vaccines save lives and this study is the most comprehensive real-world data showing they also cut transmission of this deadly virus.

Bournemouth Echo: (Steve Parsons/PA) (Steve Parsons/PA)

“It further reinforces that vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic as they protect you and they may prevent you from unknowingly infecting someone in your household.

“I urge everybody to get their vaccines as soon as they are eligible and make sure you get your second dose for the strongest possible protection.

“This is a huge national effort and we will beat the virus together.”

While positive steps are being taken in the UK to reduce the negative impact of the coronavirus, there are still major problems in countries such as India.

Bournemouth Echo: People queue for a Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)People queue for a Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai, India (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the devastating surge in India’s Covid-19 cases which has overwhelmed the country’s health services is “beyond heartbreaking”.

Hancock might also face questions about the current sleaze allegations and rows taking place in Downing Street.

Michael Gove has backed Boris Johnson after the Prime Minister allegedly said he was prepared to let “bodies pile high” rather than order another coronavirus lockdown.

The Cabinet Office minister said on Monday that he “never heard language of that kind” in the meeting where Mr Johnson ordered the second shutdown in England.

The Prime Minister was also forced to deny making the statement, saying the allegation was “total rubbish” as he faced questions about the bitter briefing war that has hit No 10.

You can tune into the press conference at 5pm today (18 April).