Seven mass vaccination hubs open as United Kingdom faces dire warnings

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2021

As set out by the Prime Minister last week, the plan also reiterates the commitment to offer the first vaccine dose to all those in the top 4 priority groups recommended by the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) by 15 February.

The next few weeks will be the worst of the pandemic for the National Health Service (NHS), he told the BBC, urging the public to minimise all unnecessary contact with others.

Professor Powis said the health service was "in a sprint" to reach the top four priority groups by the middle of next month, followed by the remaining vulnerable groups by April, and engaged in a final push to offer a jab to all adults over 18 by the autumn.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has topped 30,000 in England.

The UK will go through the "most risky time" of the pandemic in the weeks before vaccine rollout has an impact.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Health Secretary Matt Hancock

It means that across England the true number of people infected to date may be five times as high as the total number of known cases according to the government's track-and-trace programme.

About 2.3 million people have received their first shots.

The Government is aiming to vaccinate nearly 14 million vulnerable people by the middle of February.

The NHS says it is personal choice where patients receive the vaccine, whether they use the regional hub or stay local, and go to their GP practice. Sites include football stadiums and a horse racing course, and are located in cities including Bristol, London, Newcastle and Manchester.

Vaccine centres will each be capable of delivering thousands of vaccinations each week, scaling their operations up and down according to vaccine supplies and demand.

The Health Secretary said the NHS has made "fantastic strides" with the rollout.

This historic vaccination programme is a truly national effort and shows the whole of the United Kingdom coming together to quickly and effectively protect the British public against this awful virus.

"It's been phenomenal to see our extensive preparations come to fruition and from tomorrow the public will also be able to see exactly how we will ensure they and their loved ones get the vaccine as quickly as possible".

In Scotland, the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is available in more than 1,000 locations from Monday.

The Government's UK Covid-19 Vaccines Delivery Plan sets out how it will deliver on its ambitions alongside the NHS and Armed Forces.

Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 97,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK. England is under its third national lockdown with authorities not ruling out extending it and tightening measures.

Professor Peter Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), described the current situation as being "in the eye of a storm" adding that if there is any sign the measures in place are not working then "we're going to have to be even stricter".

Coronavirus testing is also due to ramp up across England this week, with asymptomatic people who can not work from home set to be prioritised for quick turnaround tests made available to every local authority as part of the community testing programme.

Other reports by iNewsToday