Newspaper headlines: Shot in the arm for Britain and jab Brexit row

By BBC News

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Matt Hancock wears a Protect the NHS mask outside No10Image source, PA Media
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock started a "row" over Brexit's influence in a Covid vaccine being approved in the UK, several papers report

"What a shot in the arm for Britain," is the Daily Mail's reaction to news of a coronavirus vaccine being approved by regulators. The paper says officials hope to have the bulk of the most vulnerable groups immunised by the end of next month. This would then reportedly allow for the most stringent restrictions to be potentially eased in February.

Metro's headline suggests Wednesday should be known as "V-Day", calling the approval of a vaccine an "historic moment". The Sun also evokes the spirit of the Second World War on its front page, with the V in its "Covid" headline replaced by the two-fingered V for Victory salute made famous by Sir Winston Churchill. The paper points out that the rollout of the vaccine will bring an end to "bog roll bandits, bad hair days and the quibbling over a Scotch egg".

"On its way" is the triumphant headline on the front of the Daily Mirror. It pictures a vaccine lorry leaving a Pfizer site - carrying what the paper calls a "truckful of hope". The paper says that for a nation "worn down by Covid", normality is "in sight", with the first vaccines set to be administered by a London hospital trust at 07:00 on Monday morning. The i newspaper, however, suggests on its front page that the immunisation programme will begin a day later.

The Times reports care homes have demanded clarity over when their residents will get the jab after it emerged homes will be excluded from the first wave of doses. It's because they do not have the ability to store the vials at -70C (-94f) and the medical regulator has only approved its use provided the packs of 975 doses are not split up, the paper says. The Guardian points out this is the "fragility" of Pfizer's creation - while the National Care Forum is quoted as saying "energy and ingenuity" is needed to ensure homes can benefit from the vaccine.

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A limited number of fans have been welcomed back to sports stadiums but the Daily Telegraph says capacity crowds could return by the summer

The Daily Express uses its leader to accuse the European Medical Agency and other EU bodies of "sour grapes" for criticising the UK's "speedy approval" of the vaccine. Ministers had insisted the UK got the green light first because Brexit had "freed" the country from Brussels red tape - only for the medical regulator to insist it had been working under European law. The Times describes the row as "unseemly and pointless", while Huff Post UK points out "it was only a matter of time" before the twin preoccupations of Brexit and Covid collided.

And finally, with a vaccine on the way, the Daily Telegraph tells its readers to "get set for a golden summer of sport". It says organisers of Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and the British Grand Prix have stepped up plans to host capacity crowds next summer. The vaccine rollout has reportedly come too late for the Six Nations and the Cheltenham Festival to be staged without social distancing - but the Telegraph suggests England's Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on 13 June could be the first major international event in the UK with a full crowd.