NHS covid vaccination programme to begin next week

Vaccination (stock image)

The NHS will begin vaccinating patients against coronavirus at dozens of hospital hubs from this week at the start of the biggest immunisation programme in history.

People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk.

NHS staff are working through the weekend to prepare for the launch of the programme with the first vaccinations happening from Tuesday.

There are 50 hubs in the first wave – including the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford – and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as the programme  expands.

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. 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 following week (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.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

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.”

The vaccine is typically delivered by an injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.

NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This coming week will be an 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.

“I urge everybody to play their part to suppress this virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS while they carry out this crucial work.”

Susan Acott, Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals said: “We are proud to be one of the first hospitals to begin vaccinating against Covid-19. Our staff are working extremely hard to get ready for this historic moment and we are privileged to be able play a part.

“We will be in touch directly with eligible patients and only those contacted directly should attend the hospital for a vaccination.”


  1. Although I would have the vaccine, when my turn in the queue arrives, it does still feel a little scary, knowing this has been rushed through so quickly (with best intentions).

    Things have gone wrong in the past, to name Thalidomide,as one such example.

    • Yep, the first RNA vaccine ever to be authorised for use in humans, no prior large scale trials, none of these companies have released their trial data, there have been no peer reviews, nobody knows the short or long-term side effects of these vaccines.

      Unfortunately pharmaceutical companies have a long history of stopping trials when non positive findings start occurring & recording those who drop out from side effects or even dying as being non-compliant in their quest for money. You are effectively playing Russian Roulette. Thankfully many of us will be right at the back of the line for it & will at least see whether people start dropping dead or suffer serious issues before it is out turn to be offered this.

      • You are so wrong.
        The vaccine has been approved *only* because the MHRA has seen the trial data.
        And look on the bright side. No one says you must have the vaccine. It is your right to decline it.
        You might like to think about your responsibilities, too.

        • We have no idea whether the trial data released to the MHRA is the complete picture, or only what is favourable to the company, there are no peer reviews. I think about my responsibilities, which is why I limit my social interaction to the bare minimum & wear a mask outside & inside the very limited shops I go to so I can eat.

  2. I think the thinking is in the unlikely event that some grow another head or maybe another leg because they have had side effects from the vaccine at least they will be over 80 so they have lived their lives so the compensation would be nil. However I am confident that all the checks that need to be done have been done and we can all once again start getting back to some form of normality. I await my turn with excitement and wonder at how lucky we all are to even have the chance of a vaccine. Well done to the scientists of this world. How wonderful it would be if they could all put their knowledge together to find a vaccine for cancer and other serious illnesses.

    • Yes, the extra head or leg jokes to poke fun at anybody who points out the obvious issues here & lump them in with the vaccines loonies like Icke, Jenny McCarthy, Corbyn’s brother etc.

      The reality is of course that the side effects are far more human & realistic-like breathing problems, the likelihood of developing cancers, auto-immune diseases, organ failures, the loss of digits etc. The people taking this now are basically lab rats being experimented on-there are no long term studies, no trial data has been published & peer reviewed. Glad you have such faith in companies that have a long history of suppressing negative trial data.





      • Anyone taking medicine is basically a lab rat. All the time the consequences of medication are monitored by the “yellow card” system.
        Thalidomide was a dreadful episode (I have a friend who was a Thalidomide Baby). But if anything positive can be gleaned from it, it is that much greater care is taken in the development, production and administration of new drugs.
        Many vaccines are based around tried and tested mechanisms.
        It’s like if you’ve got a car, and you produce 2, 4 and 5 door versions, maybe choice of diesel or petrol engine, it’s still basically the same car. It’s not a lawnmower.
        And so it is with drugs.
        Some of these anti CV drugs are based on drugs that were developed decades ago for the likes of SARS, MERS and Ebola.
        I can’t wait.

        • Wrong, clinical trials are done on animals before humans-unlike this one. Yes, any medicine can have a side effect-but we know about the side effects of the ones that have been tried & tested, this is basically being rushed to market without the usual safeguards in place. This is nothing like a car, RNA is a vaccine that was first muted in the late 1980’s, but has never been able to be licensed for use in humans until now-31 years later, there is a very good reason for that.

          I am glad you cannot wait to be injected with something a drug company that is only interested in money tells you is safe-despite their long history of hiding negative trial data, there being no long term data available on it as we have no idea what the long-term side effects could be etc.

        • I heard that thousands of people were tested as far away as brazil more than ever before all these corona viruses SARS MERS (SARS-CoV = COVID-19) Mutation is the problem as we have with the flue jab. I do vividly remember Thalidomide my wife almost accepted the drug for her morning sickness, I have 110% confidence in this.

  3. Is this part of the anti vac scaremongers.its people’s choice to protect themselves I have been having flu injections for years and had no side effects. These anti vac so called specialist’s see you saying you want the world population to be cut down.

      • Exactly-even the experts are saying this isn’t a cure, we have no idea how safe it is, or even if it will be effective-but hey, just line up & be injected with it anyway because Boris, Jacob & their buddies say so & I will just take one part of your link.

        History shows many examples of serious adverse events from vaccines brought to market in periods of enormous pressure and expectation. There were contaminated polio vaccines in 1955, cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in recipients of flu vaccines in 1976, and narcolepsy linked to one brand of influenza vaccine in 2009.

    • The flu injection is a tried & tested vaccine we know about, nothing like an RNA vaccine-which has never until now been licenced for human usage because of the dangers involved.

      You seem like many to have trouble telling the difference between conspiracy imbeciles who claim vaccines cause autism, or some way of implanting microchips & tracking controlling everybody & those who have genuine concerns about something that has for 30 plus years never been able to be licenced for use on human beings, being rushed through as fast as possible for political expediency-bypassing the usual testing procedures, being published in full & peer review, when we have no idea of the short & more importantly long-term health risks, as there is no data beyond a couple of months & none of it has been replicated & peer reviewed.

  4. This unprecedented rushed-to-the-market vaccine has had no time to properly evaluate the side effects and risks and legal liability for vaccine damage is waived for the drugs companies involved. And some thoughts from someone who has worked for Pfizer. “”In my scientific opinion the use of RNA vaccines is genetic engineering. The RNA is injected into the muscle tissue and then the muscle cells take up the RNA and ‘transcribe’ it into the ‘spike protein’ which the immune system then responds too. Regular vaccines just contain the protein…not RNA. This is a very unethical and dangerous approach in my opinion!” The whole issue of RNA raises red flags.

    • Yep, over 30 years & no RNA vaccine has been licenced for use in humans because of the dangers. Now suddenly one company has had their rushedm non published & peer reviewed vaccine licenced & likely the other companies will follow soon. I mean what could go wrong here?

      Still, the great British public cannot wait to line up to get injected with it, despite this being something that in one year has killed 1.5 million people-the majority those with severe health problems, obese to super morbidly obese out of a population of nearly 8 billion.

      By the time most of the world can actually get these vaccines in 2022 the likelihood based on history is this thing will be pretty much gone, with just the sporadic outbreaks. Of course the biggest problem currently is how on earth you vaccinate the immobile people in care homes & at doctors surgeries with the Pfizer drug-which has to be stored at such a low degree it makes it impractical.

  5. When Jenner first proposed innoculating people with cowpox pus as a way of getting rid of smallpox, he was derided and ridiculed. It was claimed that women would give birth to cows.
    That didn’t happen.
    Instead, the pioneering work of Jenner and many others since him has lead to the eradication of smallpox world wide, and substantial protection from a host of other potentially fatal diseases.
    As to the mRNA vaccine: unlike GM, where there is permanent change to an organism’s genetic structure, the active bits in the vaccine that do the business have a “life” of just a week or two before they break down in the body, by which time your antibodies and T cells have worked themselves up into a fighting fit state.
    What astonished me about anti-vaxxers is that they are so quick to embrace what at the very best can be described as periferal science, whilst rejecting what the vast overwhelming majority of science says.
    A really important thing to realise about science is that it is always questioning, always observing, always refining.
    It is true that the Pfizer vaccine has been produced very quickly.
    It is not true to say that it is untried, untested. I rather think that the top scientists in august institutions would not put their names and professional standing to anything that they were not sure was ok.

    • Again you trot out this Tory anti-vax rubbish. I am not anti vax, I am actually pro vax-when there is credible evidence it is safe due to proper testing & decades of people not having mass side effects etc.

      Anti vaxers are morons like Jenny McCarthy working off Wakefield’s nonsense that the media kept pushing, while ignoring the published peer reviews that quickly discredited his flawed studies, the armed lunatics who shoot aid workers & medical professionals giving them to eradicate diseases in Pakistan etc.

      You are correct-there has been testing, nobody is questioning that, the problem is as you science is always questioning & always refining-here there are no peer reviews being done so these experiments can be replicated. We have a government buying these drugs before they have even been made, before they have even been tested. In fact none of the people reporting side effects from the Modena vaccine have been talked about on the news-because they & the government only report the positives, you have to look online to find out about the participants side effects.

  6. In maths, you have “theorems”, which are constructed from axioms using irrefutable logic. Thus Pythagoras’ Theorem.
    In the rest of science, there are “hypotheses”, which is where a scientist has an idea to explain a particular phenomenon but hasn’t rigorously tested it yet; then you have “theories”, which is what you get once you’ve tested an hypothesis, had colleagues test it, had it peer reviewed and published in a Learned Journal.
    But it doesn’t end there. New observations come to light (maybe better microscopes or telescopes), better understanding of things, because of the work of other scientists, perhaps.
    So all the time, our knowledge and understanding of things improves.
    Not least in the realm of medicine in general and vaccines in particular.
    We trust the work of scientists and engineers when it comes to airoplanes, electricity, gps, drinking water, food processing… all most everything in our daily lives.
    Covid vaccine? Yes, please.

  7. “This vaccine from Pfizer is NOT the coronavirus 19. Or any part of it this vaccine is not new it has been found to stop the virus from spreading within you.” So the man Nextdoor tells me who works at Pfizer.

  8. Andrew, yes indeed the man next door told about Viagra and what it would do for those members that could not rise to the occasion, I mentioned it at the time but of course no one believed me. They don’t say that now. All joking aside I have been a volunteer for Pfizer’s in the past and nothing they have given me has had any detrimental effects on me that I know of, I can only speak as I find.

    • Did he also tell you about the risk of severe vision problems & a whole host of other things it can cause? Seeing as the majority of men who have problems in that department could change it themselves by lowering their alcohol consumption, losing weight & giving up smoking it really is a miracle of marketing.

  9. Steve, if only life was that simple . It must be very disappointing to give up this give up that ban all the wood burning stoves ban all the petrol and diesel vehicles ban all the gas boilers follow nut case David Attenborough who bangs on about the world being so polluted yet he conveniently over looks this environment has given him 94 years of good living then go and die. Have the vaccine or don’t have the vaccine the choice is yours.

      • Trees are not the solution to global warming. The very small amount of carbon they lock up is released back into the atmosphere a few score years later when the tree dies and decays.
        There’s only 1 way to stop global warming: stop burning fossil fuels in our homes, cars, boats and planes.
        Trees are important for plenty of other reasons, though.

  10. Fortunately, for the rest of the world at least,an island will be easy to isolate should the vaccine lead to humans becoming spider-goats.

    • How many legs does a spider goat have?
      I just need to keep a check on mine for pre and post jab comparison.

  11. I see as usual the anti vaxxers are being loud & will not stop even when challenged by medical professionals. Do yourself a favour & don’t listen to those who want to abolish vaccines. They just selectively use google & wont ever tell you the good that they do. No one gets it if they don’t want it but that’s unwise. The virus is worse for many people.

    • Are you really this dense or can you not read & just rabbit off Boris & his cronies? Nobody here is anti-vax, vaccines are a great thing when tried & tested & eradicate horrendous diseases around the world. Questioning something that has never been licenced for use in people for over 30 years for very good reason, now being hurried through without the proper long-term trials, the full data being published & then those trials being peer reviewed is not anti-vax, it is common sense.

      This is like saying people are anti antibiotics because they point out they have been over-prescribed for decades, despite the warnings that they will create a situation where they cease to work-which is what is now happening & we are on the brink of a crisis where millions of people will be dying due to them now being ineffective.

  12. I am racing towards 80, and have lung disease, and a heart condition, and will be first in the queue for the vaccination when its available! One good thing about the anti vaxxers is, they will continue to infect each other! One bad thing is they will be filling up hospital beds, needed for other patients who have been vaccinated! I quite expect that we will need to be vaccinated every year, just like the ‘flu jab!

  13. There have been proper trials. The data has been released to organisations such as (in the UK) MHRA and JVCI. It has been (and continues to be) reviewed. I watched a televised briefing involving Professor Wei Shen Lim (JVCI) and Dr June Raine (MHRA). A more solemn, serious, careful couple of people I’ve yet to see on a panel. I have no doubt whatsoever that if the benefits of the vaccine didn’t hugely outweigh the disadvantages (non to date) then these people and their organisations would not have sanctioned it.

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