The UK vaccines minister today ruled out immediate stabbing around the clock at the country's new vaccination centers opening today, blaming a lack of medicine.
Nadhim Zahawi also admitted that most people currently have "about a 45 minute drive" to the seven NHS locations that opened their doors this morning, most of which are over 80 years old and medically at risk.
Mr Zahawi said the introduction of the vaccine could happen 24 hours a day, but only if the number of shocks is high enough. He also suggested that those in need of bumps now are unlikely to want an appointment in the middle of the night, meaning the current hours are 8am to 8pm.
When asked if it can be given day and night if there is enough vaccine, he told BBC Radio 4's Today program: "If we have to work around the clock, we must work 24 hours a day, to make sure we vaccinate as soon as we can '.
The centers, which are also open to health and nursing staff, offer an alternative to receiving the sting at general practitioners' offices and hospitals.
They cover all seven NHS regions in England including the Center for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne. The others are Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Center in London, Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, Epsom Racecourse in Surrey, Millennium Point in Birmingham, Robertson House in Stevenage and the Etihad Tennis Center in Manchester.
Anyone can vaccinate a patient every four minutes, which means that every 35 seconds someone gets a bump through all seven hubs that go online while Boris Johnson discusses plans for a stricter lockdown, including exercise restrictions, mandatory masks outside, closed kindergartens, and No. Support bladders.
Today there is concern that the centers are forcing the NHS to throw their net too far. An estimated 130,000 people live more than 45 minutes from the sites that will be invited to vaccinations in the coming weeks. Many are in the most at-risk age categories with underlying health conditions and concerns that the journey is too far for them.
Mr Zahawi admitted that some of the most at risk would have to walk 45 minutes to get a stab, but added that he wanted to get to the point where people could just go to their pharmacy or local family doctor for a vaccine receive.
The vaccination centers were opened as follows:
- Boris Johnson discusses plans for a stricter lockdown, including exercise limits, mandatory outdoor masks, closed kindergartens and NO support bladders.
- Supermarkets are to limit the number of customers again due to new fears about violations of the blocking rules.
- The video of a woman "arrested for sitting on a bench" was "staged by anti-lockdown protesters," Dorset police claim as senior officials point to even stricter enforcement;
Moira Edwards receives an injection of the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the NHS Vaccine Center, set up on the grounds of the Epsom Racecourse, Surrey
The drivers arrive this morning for the first appointments at the Covid 19 vaccination center at Epsom Racecourse in Surrey
Staff are preparing for the opening of the NHS Mass Vaccination Center, which has been set up on the grounds of the Epsom Race Course
At the international center for life of the Life Science Center in Newcastle, the hub for the North East, signals are being set
Where should the mass vaccination centers be set up?
ExCel Center, London
Robertson House, Stevenage
Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey
Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol
Millennium Point, Birmingham
Etihad Tennis Center, Manchester
Center for Life, Newcastle
Elland Road Stadium, Leeds
Totally Wicked Stadium, St. Helens
Telford International Center, Telford
Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
Navigational Walk, Wakefield
Jacob & # 39; s Well, Bradford
John Smiths Stadium, Huddersfield
Mr. Zahawi has suggested that police officers, teachers and other critical workers fall into the "highest category of the second phase" of the vaccine rollout.
He told Sky News that the program is currently prioritizing those most prone to death from coronavirus.
He added, “Of course some police officers and teachers will actually get the vaccine (at stage one) because they belong to these categories, but we will very quickly move on to the other critical workers in business and of course those who like our cops and cops doing an incredible job of protecting us and enforcing the rules will also fall into the highest category of the second phase. & # 39;
The hubs are staffed by trained volunteers from the St. John Ambulance and NHS Volunteer Responder programs, as well as NHS staff.
At the Newcastle site, some key workers received their push over the weekend before the doors were officially opened to the public today.
There are around 1,000 vaccination centers, 800 of which are run by general practitioners. However, over the course of the week it will be 1,200.
Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS National Medical Director, said: "Please do not contact the NHS to find a vaccine, we will contact you."
It comes out as 1.5 million priority groups have received one of the bumps, and to reach the target of 13.9 million people in priority groups by mid-February, a minimum of two million vaccinations a week must be given.
And Boris Johnson wants to open 50 mass vaccination centers nationwide within a few weeks in order to achieve his goal of offering vaccines to almost 14 million people by the middle of next month.
It is reported that there are currently at least 43 additional hubs planned for areas with large populations.
A source told the Sunday Telegraph, "There will be 50 (of them) by mid-February."
It is a minimum requirement for a public vaccination center to manage 1,000 weekly doses and these centers will be among the largest in the UK.
The vaccination program expansion is being carried out by Nadhim Zahawi MP, recently appointed Minister for the Use of Covid-19 Vaccines by Mr Johnson.
However, the Times has claimed that much of the planning for the rollout was done before the ex-businessman was appointed to the role.
Alex Morton, 27, receives her push along with other health and care workers at the Center for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne
The Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Center in London will also be a vaccination center
They cover all seven NHS regions in England including – as these pictures show – the Center for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne
The hubs are staffed by trained volunteers from the St. John Ambulance and NHS Volunteer Responder programs, as well as NHS staff. Pictured: Epsom Racecourse in Surrey
The Etihad Tennis Center in Manchester is to be converted into a vaccination center
Stock: A batch of valuable Covid-19 vaccines is kept refrigerated at the Center for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne before use
People over 80 face strenuous trips to vaccination centers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 … or the excruciating wait for a unit closer to home to open
Some of the first retirees to be invited to the new vaccination centers have been told that they face long journeys to get their thrusts.
Over the weekend around 130,000 invitations were sent to people aged 80 and over, 600,000 will follow this week.
But some are amazed to have been asked to travel this far.
Mary McGarry of Leamington Spa in Warwickshire said she was advised to take her husband with cancer and lung disease 20 miles to Birmingham.
She said: "We are very reluctant to go to downtown Birmingham.
"If we can't get someone to take us, we'll have to get on the train, but we'll protect ourselves because my husband is in poor health."
"We want to know why we have to travel so far."
She said, "We are very reluctant to go to downtown Birmingham. We protect ourselves because of my husband … why do we have to travel this far?"
Kay Hayward, of Whitwick, Leicestershire, was offered five locations for her husband, Kenneth, 85 – including Widnes (94 miles away in Cheshire). She said, “I thought you were kidding … we talked about it and we thought about it was actually safer to stay here and not have for him. & # 39;
The NHS says if appointments at the new centers are not convenient, people can be vaccinated more locally later.
Regardless, some retirees have to queue up at the GP's office for hours to receive a bump as the computers keep crashing. This was claimed last night.
The British Medical Association (BMA) said a bug in the system was causing havoc a month after it was first reported as a problem.
Mr. Zahawi's role has since been dismissed by some as a redundant position in order to appease the demands of the back benches for a "Minister for Vaccines".
One person involved in the rollout said, "I don't think the success of the vaccination program will depend on Nadhim Zahawi."
Downing St was concerned about the relatively slow pace of vaccination across the country. NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens said he was keeping ministers away from distribution logistics.
High-ranking government sources have downplayed fears of disruption to the rollout, claiming vaccine delivery to the NHS was "lumpy".
One said, 'This is a biological link. It would always get lumpy. They receive a delivery and they say, "We had a delay, we can do the batch in a week." And then the MHRA has to carry out inspections. & # 39;
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland run their own Covid vaccination programs. Scotland will have enough Covid vaccines by the end of this month to cover its four top priority groups.
Fears persist that the government is over-promising how much can realistically be delivered. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this morning that every adult in the country will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine by fall.
More than 600,000 people aged 80 and over will be receiving invitations this week to have the coronavirus shot down at new major vaccine centers across England.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said officials are on track to meet the 13.5 million target by mid-February.
The vaccination campaign comes as the UK has seen a sharp surge in infections and a record number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Many experts warn that the situation is worse than when the country was first locked last spring.
Last week's Office of National Statistics estimates that 1 in 50 people in England had the virus.
Britain suffered 563 coronavirus deaths today – the third deadliest Sunday in the entire pandemic. The infections were registered at 54,940 for the thirteenth day in a row, with the number over 50,000.
Mr Hancock said that more than 200,000 people are vaccinated each day in England and that the entire adult population should be offered a sting by autumn.
“We have ordered over 350 million cans – they are not all here yet. We'll roll them out as soon as they are delivered, ”he told the Andrew Marr show.
"But we will have enough to be able to offer a vaccine to everyone over the age of 18 by autumn."
Tracy Nicholls, executive director of the College of Paramedics, said members have reported ambulances standing outside hospitals for up to nine hours and unable to transfer patients to emergency rooms.
& # 39; This year has been an incredible year of pressure especially from the clinical presentation of patients that our members see. You're sicker, ”she said.
"We are seeing the delays in handing over the ambulance on a scale that we have never seen before."
In early January, England entered a third national lockdown that closed all non-essential businesses, schools, colleges and universities for at least six weeks.
MHRA regulators approved the Moderna vaccine this week. This makes it the third to be approved for use after the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford University-AstraZeneca.
Studies suggest that the Moderna shock is 94.5 percent effective against symptoms and works in the elderly.
The government said yesterday that it had increased its order by 10 million cans to 17 million. Each person takes two shots.
While the other two's batches are already being shipped to vaccination centers, the Moderna sting won't be available until the fall, after waiting for trial data before making a commitment.
The United States and the European Union are in the queue.
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