Three hospitals outside London to pilot 24-hour Covid-19 vaccinations

Three hospitals in Birmingham are due to begin piloting 24-hour Covid-19 vaccinations for health and social care workers.

A spokeswoman for the Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are exploring further options to allow all health and welfare workers in Birmingham and Solihull to get vaccinated at a time that is convenient for them.

“Starting tonight, we will be opening a series of vaccination appointments between 6 pm and 8 am especially for our night staff.

“These will be rolled out site by site in the QEHB (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham), Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals into the weekend.”

Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi previously said that 24-hour delivery pilots “would likely take off from either London or the Midlands.

He said the pilots would “test different types of 24/7 delivery to make sure we learn from it and get it right”.

It is understood that the NHS Trust in Sherwood Forest Hospitals, Nottinghamshire, will also host a 24/7 vaccine pilot.

Last week, in response to questions from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said vaccinations would be happening around the clock as soon as possible, although the supply of doses remained the main obstacle.

“We will work around the clock as soon as possible,” he told MPs.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will provide more details “in due course,” Johnson said.

Mr Hancock previously asked if a 24-hour vaccination operation was necessary because “most people want to be vaccinated during the day and most of the people who are vaccinating want to be vaccinated during the day”.

A YouGov survey of 2,137 UK adults found that 43% would be willing to schedule a vaccination appointment between midnight and 5.59am, but 32% would decline it, while 67% would attend an appointment between 8.00pm and 9.59pm and 53% in between would go 10 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.

In Scotland, vaccinations could start around the clock if mass centers open in late February or early March, the country’s health minister, Jeane Freeman, said.

Oxford / AstraZeneca’s vaccine provides the easiest way to protect around 15 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February, as it is less logistically complex than Pfizer’s vaccine, which must be frozen.

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