It has been confirmed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 is to be rolled out to hundreds of GP-led vaccination sites in local communities today.
Over 700 local vaccination sites, as well as another 180 GP-led sites, 100 new hospital sites, and possibly local pharmacy sites as part of a new pilot scheme, will be involved in administering the jab, with the stretching target of vaccinating 13 million people by mid-February.
It is hoped that all those in the top four priority groups will be vaccinated by this deadline, with most care home residents to have received the jab by the end of January.
It marks the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.
The rollout of the Oxford vaccine to GP vaccination sites comes as the UK reported another 1,041 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test result, which is the highest daily death toll recorded since April 2020.
There were also another 62,322 cases of coronavirus recorded on Wednesday, which is the highest daily increase since mass testing started.
People in England are currently living under the tightest restrictions as a third national lockdown was imposed earlier this week in a bid to stop the NHS from becoming overwhelmed as coronavirus cases surged – thanks, at least in part, to the new more transmissible variant which has emerged in the UK.
Next week will see seven new major vaccination hubs start to operate across England, including in London and Birmingham.
The most vulnerable are due to be vaccinated first, as defined by a list of nine high-priority groups, totaling around 30 million people and representing 90-99% of those who are at risk of dying from a Covid-19 infection.
- Residents in care homes for older adults, and their carers
- Those aged 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers
- Those aged 75 and over
- Those aged 70 and over, and those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable
- Those aged 65 and over
- Those aged 16-64 who have a serious underlying health condition
- Those aged 60 and over
- Those aged 55 and over
- Those aged 50 and over
The Pfizer BioNTech jab, which was the first to be approved for use in the UK, has so far been administered to people aged 80 or over who are in hospital, frontline health staff and care home workers.
The first recipient of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was 82-year-old Brian Pinker, as it was initially rolled out to patients at selected hospitals. It is now being made available to thousands more vulnerable people at community-based sites across the country.
The Oxford vaccine can be transported and stored more easily than the Pfizer version, which means it can be more readily used to vaccinate people in care homes and individuals who are house-bound.
There are around half a million doses of both vaccine ready to be used this week, with millions more in the pipeline to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vaccination of care home residents with the Oxford jab would “ensure the most vulnerable are protected and will save tens of thousands of lives.”
He added: “As our vaccination programme ramps up, I urge everybody to continue following the latest restrictions to keep cases low and protect loved ones.”
Around 650,000 people – almost 1 in 4 of those aged 80 or over – have been vaccinated since the first jabs were rolled out last month.
In Scotland, around 100,000 people have received a first dose of vaccine, with hopes that everyone over the age of 50 and those with underlying health conditions can be vaccinated by the beginning of May.
Meanwhile, in Wales, 35,000 people have received the Pfizer vaccine and 40,000 doses of the Oxford jab will be available in the coming weeks. In Northern Ireland, around 40,000 people have had their first dose of vaccine, with health officials saying that everyone aged over 80 will have been vaccinated within weeks.
First Response Training is a leading, national training provider. They deliver a wide range of training for organisations across all sectors and throughout the UK in the fields of first aid, health and safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.
Their courses include Level 2 Awards in Infection Control, Health and Safety, Safeguarding Adults and more.
A trainer from FRT says: “The rollout of the vaccination programme is the good news that we have all been hoping for so long for. It will take time to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in society, and there are still challenging times ahead for us all but we can be grateful to the scientists for providing the light that will take us out of the darkness.”
For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.