HOSPITALS across England have been told to prepare for the rolling out of a mass COVID-19 vaccination programme in 10 days’ time.
The NHS is tipped to receive the first batch of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech as early as December 7. This would bring to fruition the Prime Minister’s plan to have vaccines administered to the most vulnerable groups before Christmas. Sources at multiple hospitals in England said they were preparing to receive the jab on either December 7, 8 or 9.
They said NHS England had issued the preliminary timeline.
NHS workers are expected to be treated as a priority in the queue for the much-awaited jab, according to the Guardian.
Care home residents and people over the age of 80 will be next in line.
The Government has classed both of these groups as top priorities in the vaccine programme.
The vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is expected to gain regulatory approval over the coming days.
On Monday the UK’s medicine regulator said it would make a decision on the Pfizer vaccine in the “shortest time possible”.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency made the announcement after it had received additional data about the shot.
In a statement, the executive agency of the department of health and social care said a thorough assessment of the data would be carried out.
June Raine, chief executive of the agency said: “It is our job now to rigorously assess these data and the evidence submitted on the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness.