The government has today (January 11) published its covid vaccination programme plan – with a pledge that by the end of January, everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site or, for a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams.
The plan says tens of millions of people will be immunised by the spring at over 2,700 vaccination sites across the UK handling 2 million vaccinations a week.
The UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan sets out how the government will work with the NHS, devolved administrations, local councils and the armed forces to deliver the programme.
The plan is for all residents and staff in over 10,000 care homes across the country to be offered a vaccine by the end of the month.
This will be made possible by the rapid expansion of the programme, including:
206 active hospital sites
50 vaccination centres
Around 1,200 local vaccination sites – including primary care networks, community pharmacy sites and mobile teams
The expansion of the programme will mean all adults will be offered a vaccine by the autumn.
The government and the NHS have also mobilised a workforce of over 80,000 health professionals to help in the delivery of the programme across the different vaccination sites, with over 200,000 additional members of the public expressing their interest in helping with the non-clinical elements of the rollout such as administrative support, logistics, stewards and first aiders.
All offers of support have been recorded and individuals will be contacted when they’re needed.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It’s taken a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to make such an incredible start to this ambitious deployment programme. Our vaccine deployment plan sets out exactly how we will harness these efforts to expand the programme quickly and safely.
“Our UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan maps our route back to normality, but it does not mean we can be complacent and it is mission critical that everybody abides by the restrictions in the coming weeks.
“The next few months will present a significant opportunity to turn the tide of battle against COVID – I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people’s lives after a difficult year.”
The plan is split into 4 main areas:
Supply – including the development and manufacturing of vaccines, ensuring their safety and effectiveness
Prioritisation – insight into the first 2 phases of deployment
Places – ensuring simple, fair and convenient access to vaccinations for the public, regardless of where they live
People – mobilising the workforce and providing information on vaccinations to local communities
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 February 15. With these groups accounting for 88% of COVID-19 fatalities, the move aims to prevent thousands of deaths once their immunity develops in 14 days.
This would account for almost half of the priority groups in phase one, with all 9 high-risk groups for phase one of the programme being vaccinated by spring.
Phase 2 will look at the best tactics for achieving protection for the whole UK population, and may include vaccination of those at high risk of catching COVID-19 or delivering key public services. The JCVI will consider all available evidence for phase 2 recommendations of the vaccination programme.
Public Health England (PHE) is also today publishing the surveillance strategy for the COVID-19 vaccine programme which sets out how data is used to analyse vaccine effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 and severe disease, as well as the impact of the vaccination programme on the population as a whole.
More than 2 million people in the UK have now been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. The UK has secured early access to 367 million doses of seven of the most promising vaccines so far.
This month the vaccine developed by Moderna became the third to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The other two are the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca.
Large-scale vaccination sites
Today the first seven large scale NHS Vaccination Centres for people aged 80 and over, along with health and care staff, opened.
Hundreds more GP-led and hospital services are also due to open this week along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total to around 1,200.
The new large-scale NHS Vaccination Centres are at:
Excel Centre in London (London)
- Ashton Gate in Bristol (South West)
- Epsom racecourse in Surrey (South East)
- Millennium Point in Birmingham (Midlands)
- Robertson House in Stevenage (East of England)
- Etihad Tennis Club in Manchester (North West)
- The Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne (North East and Yorkshire)