Coronavirus vaccine programme starts today: What we know so far

VULNERABLE Hampshire residents will today begin the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

Today, the NHS are to start vaccinating patients against coronavirus at dozens of hospital hubs.

People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

Hampshire first local hub is located at Portsmouth University Hospitals Trust – one of the first 50 hubs to be rolled out during the first wave.

More hospitals will start vaccinating over the next coming weeks and months.

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab.

NHS officials have issued advice to those in Hampshire who are worried about the roll-out of the new coronavirus vaccine.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, the NHS confirmed that those ages 80 and over, care home workers, and some NHS staff will be the first to receive the vaccine.

These people will be contacted by their GP or the NHS via letter which will include all of the information they need such as the address of their local vaccination hub and their NHS number.

They said that although people are eager to receive the vaccine, people should avoid contacting the NHS about when they can have the jab.

This is to avoid a backlog of calls that will put more strain on the NHS and its staff.

The NHS explained that they are moving fast to ensure that GPs, care homes and other hub can start administering the vaccine, but said that the programme is “a marathon, not a sprint”.

This is because the vaccine is “complex” to transport and store.

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.

The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”

Daily Echo | News