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NHS is set to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations to over-70s this week

Announcement comes as ten new vaccination centres open in England

The NHS is set to roll out COVID-19 vaccinations to people aged 70 and over, in addition to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, from today.

Prior to this, the NHS has been offering COVID-19 vaccines to people in the first two priority groups recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – which includes people aged 80 and over, care home residents and staff and frontline health and care workers.

The expansion of the vaccination rollout comes as a further ten large-scale vaccination centres open across England.

According to NHS England, around 1,200 hospitals and GP-led services are administering vaccines, with the most current figures showing that over 3.79 million jabs have been delivered so far.

That reflects that more than one in three people aged 80 and over have already received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The ten new sites, which will open from today (18 January) are located in Bournemouth, Taunton, Blackburn, Slough, Norwich, Essex, Lincolnshire, St Helens, York and Wembley.

“Today is a significant milestone in our vaccination programme as we open it up to millions more people who are most at risk from COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“We are now delivering the vaccine at a rate of 140 jabs a minute and I want to thank everyone involved in this national effort.

“We have a long way to go and there will doubtless be challenges ahead – but by working together we are making huge progress in our fight against this virus,” he added.

This means that there are now 17 vaccination centres operating across England, after the first seven were launched last week.

Pharmacies in some parts of England have also begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations to priority groups, it was also announced last week.

Up to 70 pharmacies will start offering appointments from this week, with 200 in total set to start offering vaccinations within the next few weeks.

The UK has already approved three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA-based vaccine, AstraZeneca(AZ)/Oxford University’s vaccine 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 the priority groups identified by the JCVI.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

18th January 2021

From: Healthcare

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