Britons will start getting the first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine starting Tuesday, NHS officials have revealed. The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, stated that immunization will be a marathon and not a sprint event, as reported by BBC Breakfast. "We're looking forward to the race starting on Tuesday," he said.
The government of UK has given orders for 40 million doses of the vaccine, which will be enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the country. The first loads of the drug have most probably been already trucked onto the shores of UK. Hopson stated that NHS is figuring out how many of the care home residents, staff, and people over 80s they can go to.
COVID-19 Vaccination in UK
"Each one of those groups has a different set of characteristics in terms of the logistical difficulty of doing the vaccination," he stated pointing out that the vaccine requires to get transported at minus 70C.
"Think of a large pizza box, is the way that we're describing it, that's got to be stored in a fridge at minus 70C. To be frank, the only way you can really do that at the moment is to store them inside NHS hospital hubs. You can only move them four times, and you have to ensure that the two doses are administered three weeks apart, so it's quite complex. So, what we're going to be doing is, hospitals are at the moment talking to care home providers to say how can we get your staff to come into those hospital hubs so we can inject them," he added.
The Public Health England will be processing the orders placed by the NHS for the next-day delivery to the hospital hubs in UK. Meanwhile, the Army has been carrying out the coronavirus jab dry runs in advance of the nation's biggest ever mass vaccination programme. Researchers have discovered that the vaccine gives 95 percent protection against the virus and works in all age groups.
The government mentioned that the approval follows months of clinical trials that found it met the standards of safety, effectiveness, and quality. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated previously that 800,000 doses are going to be available next week, with more deliveries being made as soon as possible. Vaccination hubs have been set up at 50 hospitals that will be the first to administer doses. The residents of care homes will have to wait longer to get vaccinated due to storage difficulties.