First doses of coronavirus vaccine to be administered in the UK on Tuesday
4 December 2020, 11:13
The Pfizer vaccine will be administered from hospitals from next week, a NHS boss has confirmed.
The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered in the UK next Tuesday.
After passing final safety checks, the vaccine will be offered to the elderly, care home residents and care home workers.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, told the BBC that immunisation throughout the UK will be "a marathon, not a sprint", but added: "We're looking forward to the race starting on Tuesday."
The UK has secured 40 million doses of the vaccine to begin with, but with each person needing two doses, this means 20 million people will be receiving the first jabs.
The first set of vaccinations will be available from hospital hubs across the country as hospitals continue to deal with the logistics of moving the vaccine, which has to be kept at -70degrees.
Mr Hopson said: "Each one of those groups has a different set of characteristics in terms of the logistical difficulty of doing the vaccination.
"Think of a large pizza box, is the way that we're describing it, that's got to be stored in a fridge at minus 70C.
"To be frank, the only way you can really do that at the moment is to store them inside NHS hospital hubs."
He went on: "You can only move them four times, and you have to ensure that the two doses are administered three weeks apart, so it's quite complex.
"So, what we're going to be doing is, hospitals are at the moment talking to care home providers to say how can we get your staff to come into those hospital hubs so we can inject them."