Lots of the newly approved coronavirus vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca have already arrived in hospitals before the jab was launched.
As of Monday, around 530,000 doses of the vaccine will be available for launch across the UK, with vulnerable groups already identified as a priority for immunization.
The vaccine was officially approved in the UK on Wednesday despite warnings that the effects will not be visible for months. Wales will be given doses based on a proportion of the population and a senior medical advisor has said dentists and opticians could be part of an effort to give them as soon as possible. More information on how the vaccine works can be found here.
One of the first hospitals in the UK to pick up a batch on Saturday morning was the Princess Royal Hospital on Haywards Heath, part of the NHS Trust of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals.
Dr. George Findlay, the trust’s chief medical officer and assistant manager, said the vaccination program gives NHS staff “more confidence” in the work.
Since it can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature, this vaccine is “much easier” to administer than the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which requires refrigeration at around -70 ° C.
The rollout of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab began almost a month ago, when more than a million people across the UK had already received their first coronavirus jab.
The second dose of either vaccine is now given within 12 weeks instead of the 21 days originally planned with the Pfizer / BioNTech burst after guidelines were changed to speed up immunization.
According to Dr. Findlay is projected to vaccinate hundreds of people per day at the Princess Royal Hospital site, with efficiencies expected to increase after the first few days of the program.
“We have set up a delivery hub on the premises of this hospital so that we have the infrastructure there to invite people to booked appointments,” he said.
“And we will make sure that the booked appointments are full every day from Monday.”
Among those slated to be vaccinated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca shock starting next week are at-risk NHS workers and at-risk social workers.
Health officials in Wales have announced that patients will be involved in taking the vaccine if the vaccination program gains momentum.
In a statement on Saturday, the Hywel Dda University Health Board said there have been 7,000 Pfizer puffs to date “logistical constraints” including “storage, transportation and administration” which means the cans are “for the nursing home staff and the NHS and the Care of patients were provided labor “.
The statement went on to say: “Starting next week, the health department will initially only receive limited quantities of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, but will build up a much larger volume by January.
“The priority for the next week will be for a small number of GPs to first encourage local residents over 80 to vaccinate and continue to provide nursing home staff, NHS and caregivers with Pfizer vaccines.
“We are working with primary care colleagues to ensure that by mid-January a growing number of GPs in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire counties will be inviting patients for the vaccine and providing vaccinations for more care home residents. Health and nursing staff will continue to be involved in vaccination at the mass centers in Carmarthen and Cardigan.
“The Health Board is also working to establish more community vaccination centers to support the Health Board and primary care in Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Haverfordwest as more vaccine doses are made available. Announcements will be made when the details are established and the locations are phased in according to logistical arrangements. “
A statement from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said that the Oxford Jab approval would help “speed up our vaccination program” by planning to “use a combination of mass vaccination centers and mobile units to deliver the vaccine to humans.” bring that cannot get to a center “. .