Dozens of UK hospital hubs will begin vaccinating the most vulnerable people against COVID-19 this week, in the largest NHS Vaccination programme ever recorded.
Older people aged 80 and over will receive the vaccination first, as well as care home workers, and at-risk NHS workers. The first injections are due to take place on Tuesday 8th December. Patients already attending hospital as an outpatient or being discharged after a stay in hospital will be the first to receive the vaccine.
The life-saving vaccination is delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but the storage and transportation requirements and restrictions of the vaccine pose a significant logistical challenge. Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said:
“This coming week will be an historic moment as we begin vaccination against COVID-19.
“We are prioritising the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.
“We are doing everything we can to make sure we can overcome significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible too.
“I urge everybody to play their part to suppress this virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS while they carry out this crucial work.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director also cautioned that the launch of vaccination programme is the “beginning of the end” of the pandemic but it is a “marathon not a sprint.”
It is reported that over half a million people have participated in research into the effects of, and treatment for, COVID-19 in a little over 8 months.