The first batch of coronavirus vaccines has been received by hospital centers across the country – as NHS trusts prepare to launch the largest mass immunization program in UK history this week.
Photos show masked pharmacy technicians at Croydon University Hospital in Croydon receiving the first shipment of the groundbreaking Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 sting over the weekend.
They faced a complex and arduous logistical challenge when they received the vaccine, which must be stored at -70 ° C before thawing and can only be agitated four times before use.
With 357 million doses ordered by the government – and 800,000 already shipped by Pfizer – it is hoped that 10 million doses will be here by the end of the year and the pandemic can be ended quickly.
People 80 and older, as well as nursing home workers, will be the first to receive the bump, which has been shown to be 95 percent effective at blocking Covid-19 infection, as well as NHS workers who are at higher risk.
Dozens of hospital centers will be getting vaccinations starting Tuesday. People 80+, nursing home workers and NHS workers at higher risk will be the first to be stabbed.
Dissemination is carried out by Public Health England and the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through systems specifically adapted to those used for national vaccination programs. According to NHS England, staff worked all weekend preparing for the launch.
Croydon health officials praised the delivery of the long-awaited vaccine, usually given by injection in the shoulder, calling it "a defining moment for the country".
It comes when the head of the UK Medicines Agency said there should be no doubt about the safety of the Covid-19 shock after the UK became the first country to allow the shock in an emergency.
Dr. June Raine, chairman of the board of directors of the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), said there should be "real confidence" in the strict approval amid fears the UK will not review manufacturers' data to become the first country in the UK World to stamp its use.
The MHRA firmly denies any trade-off allegations, stating that its decision passed through a number of bodies prior to approval. When asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show how important the public health message is to making sure people are actually taking the vaccine, Dr. Raine: “It's vital.
"There is really not one of us who has not been affected by this pandemic, and our organization, like any other, has focused entirely on doing our job to defeat this terrible disease."
Another 17,272 coronavirus cases in the UK were registered today – a 42 percent increase last Sunday.
In other coronavirus news:
- Matt Hancock said the UK's approval of the vaccine means restrictions could be relaxed before April.
- Sunday's Mail reported that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh could have the push within weeks;
- Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Manchester in a peaceful anti-lockdown demonstration this afternoon when a man was arrested by police for flying a drone.
- Military planes could fly in the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine fearing UK ports could be delayed after Brexit.
- Half of Britons say they won't see any relatives in the house over Christmas even though the bubble has eased.
- Football and rugby fans were allowed back into the stadiums to watch the games after the second ban.
- Labor has come under fire for sitting in the stands abstaining from important coronavirus lockdown measures.
A Croydon Health Services pharmacy technician (left) receives the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines delivered to the area at Croydon University Hospital in Croydon
Photos show masked pharmacy technicians at Croydon University Hospital in Croydon receiving the first shipment of the groundbreaking Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 sting over the weekend
They faced a complex and arduous logistical challenge when they received the vaccine, which must be stored at -70 ° C before thawing and can only be agitated four times before use
People 80 and older, as well as nursing home workers, will be the first to receive the bump, which has been shown to be 95 percent effective at blocking Covid-19 infection, as well as NHS workers who are at higher risk
A Croydon Health Services pharmacy technician is handling the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines delivered to the area at Croydon University Hospital in Croydon
Matthew Kershaw, Executive Director of the Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Local Health Director, said: & # 39; This is a defining moment for the country and for us in Croydon as one of the first hospital hubs to use the Covid-19 vaccine have received. We are excited to be doing our part to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our communities and to ensure the safety of our patients, our local people, and our health and care professionals who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. & # 39;
A graph shows where the 50 NHS hubs, specialty jab centers, and GP clinics that will offer the vaccine next week are located
A graphic shows how the Pfizer push works by penetrating the patient's cells and causing the immune system to produce antibodies and activate T cells ready to destroy those infected with coronavirus
A graph shows how patients are receiving the sting, including who is providing it and how long it provides immunity to Covid-19
A graphic shows the order of priority in which the vaccine is introduced, starting with residents in nursing homes
LIST OF 50 HOSPITAL HUBS IN THE FIRST WAVE OF THE COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM
- Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
- James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Foundation Trust of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals
- Cambridge University Hospital's NHS Foundation Trust
- East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
- Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
- Guy & # 39; s and St Thomas & # 39; NHS Foundation Trust
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
- NHS Foundation Trust of St. George & # 39; s University Hospitals
- NHS Foundation Trust of King & # 39; s College Hospital – Hill Denmark
- NHS Foundation Trust of the King & # 39; s College Hospital – Princess Royal University Hospital
- Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Coventry University Hospitals and Warwickshire NHS Trust
- Royal Stoke Hospital
- Northampton NHS Trust General Hospital
- Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust University Hospitals
- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust
- Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Integrated Care North North Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust
- Hull University NHS Trust teaching hospitals
- The NHS Foundation Trust of Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- South Tees NHS Trust
- Wirral University Teaching Hospital
- Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Countess of the Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
- Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
- Blackpool Teaching Hospital
- Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust
- NHS Foundation Trust from Frimley Health – Wexham Park Hospital
- Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- NHS Foundation Trust of East Kent Hospitals – William Harvey Hospital
- Brighton University Hospitals and Sussex NHS Trust – Royal Sussex County Hospital
- Portsmouth University Hospitals Trust
- Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust
- Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Dorset County Hospital's NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
- University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
- Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- North Bristol NHS Trust
Matthew Kershaw, Executive Director of the Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Local Health Director, said: & # 39; This is a defining moment for the country and for us in Croydon as one of the first hospital hubs to use the Covid-19 vaccine have received.
"We are excited to do our part to vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our communities and to ensure the safety of our patients, our local populations, and our health and care professionals who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic."
Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of the NHS, said: “Despite the enormous complexity, hospitals will launch the first phase of the largest vaccination campaign in our country's history from Tuesday. The first batch of vaccine shipments will land on readiness in hospitals by Monday.
"The NHS has a long history of running extensive immunization programs, from flu shots to HPV shots to life-saving MMR shots. Hardworking staff will once again face the challenge of protecting the most vulnerable from this dire disease. "
It comes as the UK Medicines Agency allied concerns that the UK was speeding up its approval for the emergency use of the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 shock.
When Dr. June Raine was asked how she managed to become a "global figure" and reports that the 94-year-old queen will receive the Pfizer injection within weeks, she said BBC's Andrew Marr said, “I'm proud, I'm honored. I think the news you just gave us is humiliating and it is all we have to do here at MHRA.
"We are a public health organization, we work as full partners, if I may say, in the public health family, and our aim is to fully protect every member of the population, including Her Majesty, of course."
Environment Secretary George Eustice said today it was a "personal choice" for the Queen to decide whether to take the vaccine.
When asked on Times Radio if he would like the monarch to take the vaccine and then publicly announce that she has, Mr. Eustice said, "It will be a personal choice for the queen as it is for everyone. "
When asked about reports that the Queen (94) and the Duke of Edinburgh (99) would receive and publish the engraving within a few weeks, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "Medical decisions are personal and we will not comment on this."
Because of their age, the Queen and Prince Philip would be considered a priority for the vaccine.
In the meantime, there is still no guaranteed time to vaccinate nursing home residents, although they are high on the priority list. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were "significant challenges" to face.
Logistical problems make it difficult to reach residents as the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine must be stored at -70 ° C before thawing and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before use. The vaccine boxes of 975 doses must be split up so that they can be taken to nursing homes.
Dr. Raine said to Marr, “We have approved how the vaccine can be given in the small packs, but obviously we are giving advice and guidance on how to do it carefully.
“Our goal is to ensure that the vaccine reaches people in nursing homes and their residents as safely as possible. So everyone is working hard with our colleagues at the NHS to make sure this is done safely. & # 39;
When asked when people will get the vaccine, she replied, “As I said, we are working very hard to make this happen as soon as possible.
“It's a special vaccine that has to be kept very cold. Then when the bigger packs are broken up into smaller ones to get to where they will be given it has to be done very carefully but I think we will see the first person in a few days to have this really important vaccine . & # 39;
There are 50 hubs in the first wave of the vaccination program in England. In the coming weeks and months, more hospitals will start vaccinating when the program gets underway.
The UK today registered an additional 17,272 coronavirus cases – a 42 percent increase from last Sunday's total
Official figures released today also showed an additional 231 people died after testing positive for Covid-19 – a 7.4 percent increase from the 215 deaths reported last Sunday
Another 231 coronavirus deaths were recorded today, with 17,272 new cases per day – a significant increase compared to the 12,155 new cases last Sunday (Image: Training in the Covid-19 vaccination clinic of the University Hospital in Coventry).
Why is the Pfizer vaccine so difficult to transport? Light, temperatures above -70 ° C and exercise ALL accelerate the chemical reactions that destroy fragile mRNA – which means that nursing homes have been taken out of service
The Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine approval on Wednesday was celebrated as the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel that was finally able to restore the UK to pre-pandemic normalcy.
But the breakthrough, which has been shown to be 95 percent effective at blocking Covid-19 infection, has raised a number of logistical hurdles that make it difficult to get the vaccine to those who need it most, including nursing homes .
The problems arise from the fact that the vaccine is made from volatile genetic material known as mRNA, which is constantly under threat from destruction by other molecules in the environment.
Biontech packages the vaccine in dry ice-filled batches of 975 vials, each with five doses, which must be stored at -70 ° C to prevent the mRNA from being destroyed during transport or storage.
Messenger RNA is used by human cells to carry messages and give instructions. Pfizer's push instructs the body to produce the coronavirus' unique spike protein and train the immune system to detect and fight off future infections.
However, due to the naturally rapid reversal of the lifespan of mRNA, it is inherently a short-lived molecule that is only supposed to exist for a few hours.
This presents a significant problem when attempting to get the mRNA vaccine into a human because under normal conditions it breaks down and becomes unusable.
There aren't many proven ways to ensure the vaccine's long-term survival. A tried and tested method is extremely cold temperatures that stop all movements and reactions and prevent any form of decomposition of the mRNA. However, the vaccine must be given at room temperature because the mRNA must be mobile.
When asked about the impact of Brexit on vaccine rollout, Dr. Raine zu Marr: “I would like to say that our goal with the Medicines and Health Products Regulator is to ensure that whatever the outcome and whatever the business, drugs, medical devices and vaccines reach everyone the same in every part of the country without interruption.
"And we've rehearsed, we're ready, and we know that no matter the business, we can make sure people have access." She said they were "fully prepared for any outcome".
Environment Secretary George Eustice said there will be no disruption to the vaccine, telling Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "Tremendous efforts have been made to maintain the flow of goods at the border in the event of a no-deal Brexit and we also have contingency plans, including a government-procured ferry on standby and of course the option to use air freight as well if necessary.
"We have a lot of contingency plans and there will be no impact on the use of this vaccine through a no-deal Brexit."
Meanwhile, Matt Hancock said last night that the UK's swift approval of the Covid vaccine means restrictions could be relaxed before the end of March.
The health minister said he couldn't wait to completely abolish this tiered system and that the country "can live again through mutual respect and personal responsibility, not through laws laid down in parliament".
His comments will surprise many MPs given Mr Hancock's reputation as one of the Cabinet's leading "lockdown doves" in favor of the toughest possible measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Earlier this year he even said he was ready to cheat on a neighbor who broke the rules of self-isolation. However, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he signaled that the introduction of the vaccine could soon eliminate many of the anti-Covid measures.
When asked whether starting giving the vaccine to Britons this week could result in a faster end to restrictions in the first three months of next year, Hancock said, "Yes it will."
He also said: “There is no doubt that vaccination early … will bring forward the moment we can lift these broken restrictions, but until then we must follow them. Help is on the way. & # 39;
The first vaccinations were sent out to 50 locations across the UK this weekend before the first vaccination was carried out on Tuesday in all four UK countries, which Mr Hancock referred to as "V-Day".
The Health Secretary said millions of Pfizer vaccine doses will be in the UK by the end of the year, while a second vaccine from Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca could get UK regulatory approval before Christmas.
The government now plans to vaccinate more than half of the UK's vulnerable people by the end of February.
Mr Hancock added that the mass vaccination program will also include a large-scale government advertising campaign run by celebrities and other trusted voices, launched before Christmas.
Meanwhile, the UK recorded another 17,272 coronavirus cases today – a 42 percent increase from last Sunday's total. The number – an increase of more than 5,000 cases from the 12,155 reported around this time last week – comes on the first weekend since England's statewide lockdown was lifted.
As of Wednesday, all non-essential tier-system stores were reopened and the Brits in levels one and two were able to return to cafes, pubs and restaurants. Official figures released today also showed an additional 231 people died after testing positive for Covid-19 – a 7.4 percent increase from the 215 deaths reported last Sunday.
UK approval of the Covid vaccine means restrictions could be eased before the end of March, Matt Hancock said
The Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine approval on Wednesday was hailed as the light at the end of the lockdown tunnel that was finally able to restore the UK to pre-pandemic normalcy. But the breakthrough, which has been shown to be 95 percent effective at blocking Covid-19 infection, has raised a number of logistical hurdles that make it difficult to get the vaccine to those who need it most difficultly
The photos show rows of freezers that keep the vaccines at temperatures as low as -70 ° C before being introduced into nursing homes and general practitioners' offices within 14 days
When the vials are ready to be injected, they are warmed to room temperature over two hours, diluted, and drawn into needles. The teams then have six hours to vaccinate the patients
Rows of vaccines have been kept in a safe place in the freezers before they are expected to be introduced within the next ten days. The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has yet to stamp the protocol to remove the fragile vaccine from the freezer, but authorities expect this to be fixed within a few days
General practitioners should prepare to receive doses in the week beginning December 14th. Nursing homes should get the vaccine in the same week. In the picture a truck leaves Pfizer Manufacturing in Puurs, Belgium
Today's numbers bring the UK death toll to 61,245, compared to 61,014 yesterday. The number of new infections in the past seven days is 105,918 – a decrease of 647 (0.6 percent) from the seven days before – November 23-29.
The death toll in the past seven days is now 3,002, down 221 (6.9 percent) from the previous week.
Separate regional numbers had a an additional 1,916 cases of coronavirus in Wales. Public Health Wales reported another 14 deaths, bringing the number in Wales to 2,709 since the pandemic began.
Another 11 people have died with Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said. Another 419 people tested positive for the virus.
Yesterday, the government said an additional 397 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
The UK's worst Covid resurgence could be over as SAGE revealed that the R-rate has been falling for the fourth straight week and could now be as low as 0.8.
The No. 10 Scientific Advisory Board claimed the outbreaks had receded in all parts of the country.
And data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of daily coronavirus infections in England fell by almost half last month, from 47,700 a day to 25,700 in the week ending November 28, which is further evidence that the disease has gradually subsided.
According to the report, a total of 521,300 people in England carried the virus on November 28, up from 665,000 just two weeks earlier.
Separate infection estimates made by the Covid Symptom Study say only 15,845 people develop symptoms of the coronavirus daily in England, up from a high of 44,000 in late October.
Although the numbers are different from those of the ONS, they show the same downward trend.
COVID VACCINES HAVE & # 39; MARGINAL EFFECTS & # 39; ON THE WINTER HOSPITAL NUMBERS
Healthcare faces a difficult three months in winter as new coronavirus vaccines will have "little impact" on hospital numbers, the UK’s four chief physicians have warned.
In a letter to colleagues, the four said celebratory gatherings were likely to put additional pressure on health services.
The letter read: “Winter is always a challenging time for the NHS and general health and social services. This year will be particularly difficult due to Covid-19.
'While the very welcome news about vaccines means we can look forward to 2021 with greater optimism, vaccine use will have little impact on reducing the number of patients who will be affected over the next three months get into healthcare with Covid.
“The actions and self-discipline of the entire population during the lockdowns and other restrictions have helped lower the peak, and hospital numbers are expected to fall in most parts of the four nations in the next few weeks, but not everywhere.
"The social mingling that happens around Christmas can put additional pressure on hospitals and general practitioners in the New Year and we need to be prepared for that."
The letter commended healthcare workers for responding “great” to the challenges of the pandemic and emphasized the importance of continuing to support others in the profession.
However, it is "important" that more information about the virus is learned in the next few months in order to inform the treatment.
"We don't expect Covid to go away even after full vaccination, although it will be much less important as a cause of mortality and morbidity," it said.
& # 39; It is therefore imperative that we use the next few months to learn as much as possible, as we assume that Covid will be less common in the future.
"This gives us the best chance of building a strong evidence base for administration in the years to come."
The Chief Medical Officer of England, Professor Chris Whitty; of Scotland Dr. Gregor Smith; from Wales Dr. Frank Atherton; and from Northern Ireland, Dr. Michael McBride, everyone signed the letter.
How do I get a push, who is managing it and how long does it last? All of your questions about Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine have been answered
Before Pfizer launched the Covid-19 vaccine, we answered key questions that included how to get a sting, who gave it, and how long it lasted.
You will be contacted and asked to book an appointment using a "call and call back system".
This is possible because central NHS computers have access to the population's personal information – such as name, age, address and telephone number.
The "call" is to invite you to make an appointment for the first batch of two required doses. The "recall" applies to the booster 21 days later.
The pushes are made via a needle in the upper arm.
Partial immunity is estimated at 12 days, with full effectiveness seven days after the second dose – (i.e. 28 days after the first burst).
In case of a bad reaction, you will be asked to stay at the vaccination site for 15 minutes after the bite.
The vaccination staff will work on Christmas Day. England's 6,800 general practitioner practices are organized in around 1,000 "networks" and will select a special operation as a vaccination center.
Who will give the push?
Regular NHS staff, newly trained recruits, and volunteers such as the St. John Ambulance.
Will it provide immunity to Covid-19?
Analysis shows that the sting can prevent 95 percent of people from getting Covid-19, including 94 percent in older age groups. Immunity is expected to last at least six months and possibly much longer.
The Pfizer vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns were raised.
The World Health Organization says the bump is an "extra element of control" in the fight against Covid-19, which means other measures, like social distancing and wearing masks, will stay in place
Some of the subjects had pain in their arms, fever, and sore muscles, but nothing serious.
The drug and health products regulator oversees everything that is more dangerous.
Are Social Distancing and Masks Still Needed?
Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization's special envoy for Covid-19, says the vaccine is "an extra element of control" and adds, "It will not replace the other measures for a few months, maybe even a year, so we" we have to continue to distance yourself physically, be hygienic, wear masks and isolate when we are sick. "
Ministers didn't say how much, but the US government ordered 100 million cans from Pfizer for $ 1.95 billion.
That means about 30 pounds for the two shots per person.
The Oxford vaccine is likely to cost £ 2.23 per dose or £ 4.46 for the required two-dose course.
Immunity begins to build up after the first vaccine, but the second is needed to ensure full protection from Covid-19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock hopes the government will ease restrictions once infection rates fall
How many people will need to be vaccinated to lift the restrictions?
Health Secretary Matt Hancock admits that while the vaccine protects a person, it is unclear what effect it will have in reducing transmission.
He said that "as more and more vulnerable people are being vaccinated, we hope that these rates will go down so we can lift the restrictions".
Is it available privately?
No. Pfizer only supplies governments "in the early stages of the pandemic".
Although there are no plans for official "immunity passports" that would make vaccinated and thus virus-free people easier to access places such as pubs and restaurants, ministers admit they have discussed their possible use.
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