The UK’s vaccination programme will take a major step forward tomorrow as the first ‘super-vax’ centres, capable of inoculating up to 3,000 people a day, open their doors.
Already 1.5million people have been vaccinated, mostly with the Pfizer jab. Now the mass rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine heralds a blitz of inoculations.
With more than 1,300 people dying each day, and the pandemic raging across the country, health workers are locked in a race to protect as many vulnerable people from the deadly virus as quickly as possible.
And with a huge acceleration planned this week, tomorrow could mark the start of a fightback that finally suppresses Covid-19 and, eventually, allows our lives to return to normal.
THE SPRING OFFENSIVE
After the plan to inoculate the 15 million most vulnerable people by February 15, the UK’s vaccination programme will target the remaining groups who are most at risk of dying from the virus.
NHS bosses hope this second cohort of more than 16 million people will receive the jab by Easter. If so, it will mean that between 90 and 99 per cent of those at risk of dying from Covid-19 will have been protected. The rest of the population – those under 50 – will then be vaccinated.
Those in the second cohort who will receive the jab during the Spring Offensive are:
- All people aged 65 and over (3.4 million)
- All individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- Everyone aged 60 and over (3.7 million)
- Anybody aged 55 years and over (4.3 million)
- All aged 50 years and over (4.7 million)
HOW THE TARGET WILL BE MET
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) has set the target of offering vaccination to the UK’s 15 million most vulnerable people by February 15. So far, almost 1.5million have received the vaccine
Boris Johnson has set the hugely ambitious target of offering vaccination to the UK’s 15 million most vulnerable people by February 15 – in 36 days.
The latest figures, from Thursday, show the NHS had administered 1,468,000 vaccinations over 30 days, or 48,933 daily.
The PM has vowed that this will rise to more than 200,000 a day by Friday.
But to hit his 15 million target, the daily rate needs to be almost 347,000. Every day this is missed, the daily requirement goes up.
WHO IS FIRST IN LINE FOR THE JABS?
Those due to receive the jab in the next five weeks include: Care home residents, frontline NHS and social care workers, those aged 70-plus and those considered to be ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.
Of those who have died of Covid-19, 88 per cent are in these groups, All 420,000 elderly social care residents in England and Wales are at the front of the queue and should receive their vaccination by January 31.
One in four people aged over 80 have received at least one dose.
THE STORY SO FAR
On December 8, Margaret Keenan, then 90, pictured, became the first person in the world outside clinical trials to be given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Within a fortnight, an estimated 500,000 people had been given the jab, and the UK has ordered a total of 40 million doses.
Margaret Keenan, then 90, pictured, became the first person in the world outside clinical trials to be given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 8
Last Monday, Brian Pinker, 82, became the first patient to receive the ‘game-changing’ vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which can be kept in a fridge. The UK has 100 million doses on order.
Another 17 million doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine are expected in the spring.
The UK has outstripped the EU: Four times as many people have been vaccinated here than in Germany, and 300 times more than in France.
ARMY’S RAPID REACTION FORCE
Britain’s Armed Forces have established a ‘vaccine quick reaction force’ of troops who will rush stocks anywhere they are needed.
It comprises 130 personnel split into 21 small teams. They are tasked with ensuring that vaccination centres across England do not run out of available jabs and will urgently resupply them as the need arises.
Britain’s Armed Forces have established a ‘vaccine quick reaction force’ of troops who will ensure that vaccination centres across England do not run out of available jabs. Pictured: Brigadier Phil Prosser attends a press conference on January 7
They are among 5,000 Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel deployed on Operation Rescript tackling the pandemic.
A total of 32 military planners are embedded within the Department of Health, NHS and regional health authorities as part of the growing vaccination programme.
In Wales, 90 soldiers have been setting up vaccination centres and another 94 are driving ambulances.
The Ministry of Defence is considering whether another 1,500 personnel could be made available should the crisis continue to escalate.
BORIS: NO ONE MORE THAN 10 MILES FROM A JAB
GP HUBS TO LEAD VACCINATION DRIVE
Most vaccinations will be given in GP-led hubs. No10 pledges to have 1,000 open this week across England.
GPs want all surgeries to be able to give the jab. Patients will also be vaccinated in 223 English hospitals and dozens more in the rest of the UK.
Uptake is predicted to pass 80 per cent. Boris Johnson wants everyone to be vaccinated within ten miles of home.
…AND YOU CAN EVEN GET IT AT MORRISONS
Up to 50 Morrisons supermarket car parks could host vaccination sites.
Jabs will be available at stores in Wakefield, West Yorkshire; Yeovil, Somerset; and Winsford, Cheshire, from tomorrow.
The car parks of another 47 stores have also been made available. In addition, about 200 community pharmacies in England will be offering jabs this week.
MASS VACCINATION CENTRES
- ExCel Centre, London
- Robertson House, Stevenage
- Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey
- Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
- Millennium Point, Birmingham
- Etihad Tennis Centre, Manchester
- Centre for Life, Newcastle
- Elland Road Stadium, Leeds
- Blackburn Cathedral
- Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens
- Telford International Centre, Telford
- Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
- Navigation Walk, Wakefield
- Jacob’s Well, Bradford
- John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
Red denotes centres that will open this week; black denotes centres likely to open in coming weeks.
Scotland has yet to announce the locations of any mass vaccination sites, while in Wales and Northern Ireland smaller hubs are being set up in leisure centres and other buildings.
THE THREE JABS TO SAVE UK (AND ONE MORE IN THE PIPELINE)
Order: 100 million doses
How effective: 62-80%
Cost per dose: £3
Storage: Fridge temperature
Where: Mass vaccination centres, hospitals and GP centres
Order: 40 million doses
How effective: 95%
Cost per dose: £15
Where: Hospitals, GP centres and some mass vaccination centres
Order: 17 million doses
How effective: 94.5%
Cost per dose: £25
Where: Hospitals, GP centres
*Available from April
Janssen: Britain has ordered up to 52 million doses of this ‘one-shot’ vaccine, and final trial data is expected within three weeks.
The first doses, which can be stored at fridge temperature, could be given soon after.