03:39PM, Monday 07 December 2020
COVID-19 vaccinations will be taking place at Wexham Park Hospital from tomorrow (Tuesday)
The hospital in Slough is one of 50 hospital hubs in the UK that will start vaccinating coronavirus patients this week. Staff worked through the weekend to ensure the programme would be ready to begin on time.
People aged 80 or over, care home workers and NHS staff who are at a higher risk will be among the first people to receive the jab.
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-19.
All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.
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 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.
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.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “This coming week will be a historic moment as we begin vaccination against Covid-19.
“We are prioritising the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.
“We are doing everything we can to make sure we can overcome significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible too."