image captionPrime Minister Boris Johnson’s assertion that the UK will “defeat Covid” in 2021 makes the front page of the Sunday Express. The paper says his reassuring words came ahead of the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – which the PM branded “a triumph of British science”. The NHS will open hundreds of new jab hubs this week to help carry out its biggest immunisation programme yet, the paper adds.
image captionBut growing fears that the NHS does not have sufficient staff numbers or facilities to deliver the coronavirus vaccine make the front page of the Sunday Times. The paper suggests there is a “postcode lottery” for the jab, with analysis showing almost one in four people in England living in an area with no vaccination centre. The findings, the Times says, cast doubt on ministers’ claims that two million people can be vaccinated each week to help life return to normal.
image captionIn the Daily Mail, England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, defends the decision to extend the gap between people’s first and second dose of the Covid jab – insisting it is “the way we save lives”. He says waiting 12 weeks between doses rather than three – as was initially planned – will protect those most at risk from the virus, because it will help to deliver the vaccine to more vulnerable people “in the shortest possible timeframe”.
image captionThe Sunday Telegraph carries a warning against putting children’s futures on “furlough” by closing schools to tackle the rising number of coronavirus cases. In a rebuff to those calling for all schools to stay closed and remote learning to be used to curb infections, Ofsted’s chief inspector tells the paper that time away from the classroom should be kept to the “absolute minimum”.
image captionThe Sunday Mirror runs a “lockdown love exclusive” with details of “Jet Ski Romeo” Dale McLaughlan’s breach of Covid rules, which involved a 27-mile journey from the southern tip of Scotland across the Irish Sea to be with his girlfriend on the Isle of Man. The “smitten roofer” was jailed for 10 days after the excursion. Following his release, he tells the paper he was battered by waves for four-and-a-half hours after veering off course, and felt like “a crappy James Bond”.
image captionThe Daily Star claims the popular BBC show, Mrs Brown’s Boys, is facing two legal battles over alleged unfair dismissal of other actors in the programme. The paper says Gary Hollywood and Damien McKiernan are both “set to sue” the boss and leading star of the show, Brendan O’Carroll. A spokesman for the TV show did not give the newspaper a comment.