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New NHS COVID-19 vaccination centres open as cases surge in the UK

NHS is aiming to vaccinate around 15 million people by mid-February

Seven new NHS COVID-19 vaccination centres will open this week, with hundreds of thousands of people aged 80 years and over having already been invited to book in to receive a jab.

The seven vaccination centres are located in each of the NHS regions, with further centres set to open and administer vaccines by the end of the month.

The initial sites – located in London, Surrey, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Stevenage – will be capable of delivering thousands of vaccines each week, scaling this figure up and down depending on vaccine supplies and demand.

“The vaccination centres are an important milestone and will help accelerate the rollout further,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“They will work hand in hand with GPs, pharmacies, hospitals and care homes to offer vaccines to everyone in the top four priority cohorts, saving thousands of lives and helping us start to return to normal in the future,” he added.

The UK has already approved three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine, AstraZeneca(AZ)/Oxford University’s jab and most recently Moderna’s vaccine.

While people in the UK have already been receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech and AZ/Oxford vaccines, supplies of Moderna’s vaccine are not expected to be delivered until Spring.

Currently, the UK government is aiming to vaccinate approximately 15 million people by mid-February, with priority to be given to people over the age of 70 years, healthcare workers and people who are shielding.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that around two million people in the UK have now been vaccinated. The vaccination plans came shortly after the UK recorded over 80,000 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

Vaccination is seen as a key tool in the fight against COVID-19, as cases in the UK continue to surge, with around one in 50 people reportedly being infected with COVID-19 currently.

Earlier today, England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty told the BBC that "this [pandemic] is everybody's problem. Any single unnecessary contact you have with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person”.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

11th January 2021

From: Healthcare

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