Confirmed roll out of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines could take a week to arrive into the UK…

As you know, the NHS has planned extensively to deliver the largest vaccination programme in our history, providing three different delivery methods so we can cope with any type of vaccine:

  1. Hospital Hubs – where we know the Pfizer vaccine can be stored safely
  2. Vaccination Centres – large sites convenient for transport networks
  3. Local Vaccine Services – provided by GPs and pharmacies

Now that we have a vaccine that has been confirmed as safe and effective by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), we can begin to roll it out to those groups who the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has decided need it most when the supplies are available to us.

We are not at that stage yet – for the reasons explained by the Secretary of State Matt Hancock yesterday that could be up to a week for the vaccines to be shipped into the country, inspected by Public Health England (PHE) and distributed.

Delivering the Pfizer vaccine is complex as it needs to be stored at very cold temperatures and moved carefully, so at first we will only deliver it from “Hospital Hubs”.

It is important health and care workers protect themselves, so they are there to care for others. Colleagues are being urged to take it up as soon as they can.

We are preparing and looking forward to offering the vaccine to more groups of people and in more ways, like local vaccination services, but this will be a marathon over the coming months, not a sprint:

  • We will keep expanding the programme as we get more vaccine
  • This will be a huge task and we have been recruiting and training more vaccinators and support staff from across the NHS and outside of it to help ensure we can go as fast as supply allows
  • All of these will be trained, assessed and supervised

The public can really help the NHS deliver this effectively to those who need it most. Our asks are:

  • we will contact you when it’s the right time to come forward, so please don’t seek a vaccine before then
  • please act on your invite and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them
  • please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives

If you have any questions, contact the Communications team.

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