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Hospitals to start biggest ever NHS vaccination programme

Covid-19 vaccination
Hospitals to start biggest ever NHS vaccination programme
07 December 2020

The NHS will begin vaccinating patients against coronavirus at dozens of hospital hubs from this week at the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

Although the Trust and the Isle of Wight is not in the first wave we are working with our partners on the Island and the mainland to ensure that every support is given to this important vaccination programme. In the coming weeks more hospitals and GPs will start vaccinating as the programme continues its journey .

People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

NHS staff are working through the weekend to prepare for the launch of the programme with the first vaccinations happening from Tuesday.

There are 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up.

Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive the life-saving jab.

Hospitals will also begin inviting over 80s in for a jab and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.

Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from covid.

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so during the following week (week beginning 14 December) with more practices in more parts of the country joining in on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, said: “Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday. The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals by Monday in readiness

“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”

The vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder and all those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

FAQ: COVID-19 vaccine

When will I be vaccinated?

To enable everyone to get the vaccine in a safe and controlled way, a prioritisation list has been established with care home residents and staff and older people among the first to receive it.

The current vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) is complex as it needs to be stored at very cold temperatures and moved carefully in large doses. For the moment the MHRA hasn’t authorised splitting up those doses so they need to be stored and administered via hospital ‘hubs’.

Public Health England are currently working with local providers to establish how best they can safely deliver the vaccine to the most at-risk groups, including those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers, in those hospital hubs when we have the vaccines in place.

How will I know when I will be able to get vaccinated?

The NHS will contact you when you are eligible to be vaccinated and inform you of the location and date. Once the vaccination programme has been rolled out more widely, you will be able to book an appointment, either using an online or telephone booking system so that you can choose the right time and location to attend.

Where will I be vaccinated?

The NHS has well-established ways of delivering large-scale vaccinations across the country, for example the annual flu jab and routine immunisations for children and pregnant women, which are primarily led by GPs and community pharmacies and often delivered using local facilities. The delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme will build on these. 

Given the current requirements for social distancing, and the number of people covered, you will either be asked to attend your GP surgery or another location, such as another NHS building or designated vaccination centre that will enable people to be vaccinated safely

More information

Hospital hubs for the first wave in the South East region include:

  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust - Wexham Park Hospital
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – William Harvey Hospital
  • Brighton And Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust - Royal Sussex County Hospital
  • Portsmouth University Hospitals Trust
  • Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust

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