Coronavirus vaccine – three ways you will know if you’re in line for the jabs

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Details have been released on how people can get the new Covid vaccine if they are on the priority list for the first jabs.

People over 80 and care home staff will be able to get the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine at hospitals from next week, the Mirror Online reports.

However, the jabs – two need to be given around 21 days apart – will only be offered in hospitals to start with.

This is because storage and transportation of the doses is complicated, and moving them around is difficult.

The doses need to be kept together in large batches, and must be stored at around minus 70 degrees.

For logistical reasons, it means that for now vaccines will not be distributed to care homes.

Instead, they will be administered in 50 special vaccine centres in hospitals around the country.

The first people to get the vaccine will have appointments lined up at hospital anyway.

Hospital staff will inform such people about whether they will get a jab during an existing appointment next week.

“Typically they may be people who were already down to come into hospital next week for an outpatient appointment,” Sir Simon said.

“If you are going to be one of those people next or in the weeks that follow, the hospital will get in touch with you.

“You don’t need to do anything about it yourself.”

Then, over the next few weeks, GP-led vaccination centres will open up in local communities.

They will contact at-risk patients to invite them in for the jabs.

Sir Simon said: “That will be followed in the subsequent weeks by GP practices coming together in each area to operate local vaccination centres.”

He added: “GPs will be in touch with their at-risk patients, inviting people to come forward for vaccination.”

Later in the process, large vaccination centres and pharmacies will also offer the jabs.

Sir Simon said: “As even more vaccine becomes available finally we will be able to switch on large vaccination centres across the country and indeed invite local community pharmacists probably at the beginning of January to begin to offer vaccination as well.”

The vaccine was approved by the UK medicines regulator on Wednesday.

The first doses are due to arrive in the UK today, Thursday.

Number 10 said the NHS is working closely with the regulator to find a way to administer the Pfizer vaccine in care homes.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The over-80s include those due to come into hospital for routine treatment, so it is obviously possible that that might include some care home residents,” the spokesman said.

“But it is logistically complicated, which is why the NHS are working closely with the MHRA.”

Pfizer and BioNTech, who developed the vaccine, say it can be sent to care homes as long as it travels for no more than six hours after it leaves cold storage and is then put in a normal fridge at 2C to 8C.

Ben Osborn of Pfizer UK said: “The point I really want to emphasise is, at the point of administration and deployment by the NHS, our vaccine can be stored under normal refrigerated temperatures at 2C-8C for five days.

“And that gives us the flexibility to reach the target populations identified this morning by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) over the months ahead.”

Sean Marett, who is chief commercial officer at BioNTech and responsible for distribution, said: “We have stability studies now really supporting the evidence for being able to transport up to six hours at 2C-8C, so you can really take vials from the vaccination centre – one of the large ones – put them in a bag at 2C-8C and take them to the care homes where they can be administered directly to the patients.”

For more information, visit the dedicated NHS website page on the matter here.



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