Coronavirus COVID-19: Roll out of vaccination programme
It has been announced that the COVID-19 vaccination programme will be rolled out across the country from Tuesday 8th December 2020.
Here are the key things you need to know:
- There are 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up. In Staffordshire, our first hubs are at the Royal Stoke and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.
- From 14 December, some GP surgeries will begin offering vaccinations. It’s not yet been confirmed where these will be.
- Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine are available.
- The first people to be offered the vaccination will be:
- People over 80 years old
- Care home workers
- NHS workers who are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19
- Any vaccines remaining after these priority groups will be offered to healthcare workers at serious risk of illness from COVID-19. We are yet to receive clarification on the definition of a healthcare worker.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also confirmed that they are working to overcome the logistical challenges to make the vaccine available to care home residents as quickly as possible. (The vaccine needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.)
- All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
The start of the vaccination programme is great news, especially for the most vulnerable in our communities, but it will be some time before the vaccine is available more widely.
NHS colleagues have now confirmed that in terms of University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, vaccinations will only take place at the Royal Derby Hospital in the first instance and whilst they’re looking to get them up and running at Queen’s Hospital Burton, there’s nothing confirmed at the moment. More sites will go live across the county in the next few weeks.
This means that it is vital that Staffordshire’s residents and businesses continue to follow COVID guidelines, the basics of hands, face and space and to get tested and isolate when needed. Through these collective efforts, we can protect our NHS, our communities and move down the Coronavirus alert levels as swiftly as possible to get back to the things that matter most to us.
Staffordshire County Council.