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General practitioners could offer a Covid vaccine on Christmas Day and Boxing Day for a swift introduction to protecting the NHS


General practitioners could offer a Covid vaccine on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to protect the NHS, according to a report.

Doctors are being prepared to vaccinate other medical professionals and the most vulnerable Brits seven days a week during the winter.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock will come up with plans for dozens of vaccination centers next week so that more than 100,000 people can get a sting every day, The Sun reported.

Another 3,000 mobile units nationwide will be faster to heal nursing homes and those in risk categories.

It is because Pfizer and Oxford University have started their final stages of testing with data suggesting that a push could be deployed "within weeks".

Oxford's coronavirus jab could still be available until Christmas – but the head of the task force says only four million doses will initially be available for key workers (archive image)

Richard Vautrey, chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, told The Sun that shocks on Christmas Day were a possibility.

According to the paper, the government is preparing for a special vaccination center in every major city.

Nightingale hospitals are becoming mass vaccination centers

The NHS is preparing to "fire the starting weapon" when a Covid-19 vaccine is ready to be launched, the health services director said.

Sir Simon Stevens said a potential vaccination program will deliver vaccines to general practitioners' offices, pharmacies and mass testing centers – including the Nightingale hospitals.

General practitioners will be on standby from December in case a vaccine is made available before Christmas, the NHS chief said.

However, the "expectation" is that each vaccination program will begin in the New Year – until positive results from the vaccine clinical trials are obtained.

Seven Nightingale hospitals were built during the first wave of the pandemic, but five of them went unused.

They were eventually mothballed when not enough Covid-19 patients went to hospitals over the summer but have been on standby since then.

GP magazine Pulse reported Tuesday that family doctors should be ready to start vaccinating over-85s and frontline workers from early December.

Sir Simon said at a press conference, “We expect the bulk of the vaccine to be available by early next year, provided the Phase 3 trials are positive.

"We are obviously planning the possibility that a vaccine will be available before Christmas."

Some vaccines need to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, he said, adding, “So it will be a combination of what general practitioners can, what pharmacists in the community can do, but also mass vaccination centers for the purposes of we will be the Nightingale hospitals and use other locations.

“There will be roving teams prioritizing nursing homes, social workers, and other vulnerable groups.

"But most of it will be the other side of Christmas, but we want to be ready."

Kate Bingham, chair of the government's vaccine task force, said earlier this week that vaccinations had "an opportunity to be ready before the end of the year".

However, she warned that only four million doses of the Oxford vaccine would be made by Christmas – ten million doses of the Pfizer vaccine could potentially be available by January.

The estimate, which falls short of the government's proposal in May to deliver 30 million cans by September, would mean mass adoption among NHS workers and the elderly is not yet achievable.

Ms. Bingham, the UK Vaccine Czar, has arranged the purchase of six different vaccines for more than 350 million doses, but there is no guarantee that they will work.

They must all be submitted for approval by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but it is not yet known how long this will take.

Oxford University Professor Andrew Pollard agreed that there was "a small chance" that the vaccine would be ready before Christmas.

He said, “The first step is to get to the point where we can do an analysis and find out if the vaccine is working or not.

"I am optimistic that we can reach this point before the end of this year."

Sir Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, said earlier today the health service is ready and on readiness to run a mass vaccination program against Covid by Christmas. He claimed that general practitioners' offices, pharmacies, and testing centers – including those in the mothballed Nightingale hospitals – were preparing to fire the starting weapon.

The government announced last summer that it had reached an agreement with AstraZeneca – the pharmaceutical company that owns the rights to Oxford's vaccine – to dispense 30 million doses by September if this proves effective.

Both Professor Pollard and Ms. Bingham warned that the first wave of vaccinations was not good enough to bring society back to normal immediately, and failed on Boris Johnson's promise that life would return to normal next summer.

The couple spoke on a House of Commons virtual science and technology committee today.

When asked by MPs if a vaccine could wipe out Covid-19 next year, Ms Bingham said, “Well, to eradicate the coronavirus, I think (the likelihood is) very small.

“But to get a vaccine that will lower both disease and mortality? Very high. & # 39;

Number 10 announced in May that 30 million doses of Oxford University's Jab – the current global leader – should be ready for use by September if it turns out to be working.

The announcement at the time – when the country was in the middle of the disastrous first wave – was aimed to signal to the public that the UK would be ready to do mass vaccinations once the sting was approved.

Government Vaccine Task Force Chair Kate Bingham

Andrew Pollard, Professor at Oxford University

Government Vaccine Task Force Chairs Kate Bingham (left) and Professor Andrew Pollard (right) from Oxford University

But Ms. Bingham said the UK currently only has doses in the "low millions" and could only deliver around 4 million by the end of the year if regulators approve by then.

She said, “Those 30 million doses (announcement) were based on a linear yield when scaled up.

“So when you start making these vaccines, you start with test tubes and scale one at a time until you reach a thousand liters or two (the liquid that the vaccine lives in).

“So the good faith projections at the time to hit 30 million doses in September assumed that absolutely everything would work and there would be no scaling issues at all.

“And it's not linear – and it's not due to a lack of attention or availability of equipment or the like – it just usually takes a long time.

"So the answer (whether 30 million cans will be ready by September) is no."

Ms. Bingham said if she put up "pink specifications" she would hope to see positive interim data from Oxford and Pfizer BioNtech – another promising vaccine candidate – on their bumps in early December.

"And if we get that, we probably have a chance to be deployed by the end of the year," she said. Although only a few million Brits – likely very elderly – will have access.

In another blow to vaccination hopes, Ms. Bingham said she only had 50 percent confidence that a vaccine would be available to every vulnerable group in the UK by Easter.

Oxford vaccine team leader Professor Andrew Pollard agreed that he was optimistic that data on the safety and effectiveness of his sting will be available by the end of the year.

But he said there was "a slim chance" that a vaccine would be made available by Christmas.

When asked if the push could be used before Christmas, Professor Pollard said: “I think it is very difficult to answer the question because we have to do the analyzes first to see if they work, and if so, Then there are steps that have to be taken and the schedules for this are not entirely clear to me at the moment.

"I think there is a small chance this is possible, but I just don't know."

It usually takes years for vaccines to get the green light from the UK Drugs Watchdog, the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and a similar body in the EU. Regulators need to sift through the data to ensure that shocks are safe, effective, and can be distributed to millions of people.

Boris Johnson said over the summer that British life won't get back to normal until next summer when a vaccine comes to the rescue.

To further temper expectations of the vaccine, Professor Pollard told the Commons Committee that the first wave of bumps likely wasn't good enough for those in charge to drop all social distancing rules.

He said that a vaccine that was at least 50 percent effective "could cut the number of deaths or hospitalizations here in the UK in half," which would be "a dramatic change from where it is today".

"Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we can all get back to normal right away, as vaccines will take some time to roll out. Not everyone will take them, and we'll still have people getting this virus."

Meanwhile, Professor Robin Shattock, who heads Imperial College London's Covid-19 vaccination, added that the world will live with the aftermath of the coronavirus "for many years".

He said: “I think it is unrealistic to expect the UK government or the country to wake up and hear that there is a vaccine that will work and life will go back to normal immediately.

"We'll likely live with the effects of this virus for many years to come – even if vaccines make life so much better and, hopefully, will significantly reduce deaths and serious illnesses."

What progress is being made with COVID-19 vaccines?

Covid-19 vaccines could roll out in the UK in the first half of next year, with the NHS preparing to give doses "when they are available" by Christmas.

After successful studies, vaccines could be introduced in general practitioners' practices, pharmacies and mass test centers.

But health chiefs say a mass vaccination program is unlikely to begin until next year.

More than 200 candidates for coronavirus vaccines are currently being tested worldwide.

Here is everything you need to know about racing for a Covid-19 vaccine.

What progress is being made with Covid-19 vaccines?

A total of 44 of the vaccine candidates currently under development are in the clinical trial phase.

Of these, nine are in the third phase of clinical evaluation and will be administered to thousands of people for confirmation of safety and effectiveness.

There are two front runners in the Covid-19 vaccine race – one from the German biotech company BioNtech and the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and another being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

Both vaccines are currently in phase three of clinical trials.

The Oxford vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 uses a weakened version of a cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees.

Other potential vaccines in phase 3 trials include those from US drug maker Moderna and biotech company Novavax.

What studies are going on in the UK?

In addition to the Oxford vaccine, Imperial College London is developing a coronavirus sting.

The Imperial vaccine is in the first phase of clinical trials, where doses are given to a small group of people to see if it is safe and to learn more about the immune response it elicits.

The pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have also teamed up to provide a Covid-19 vaccine by the middle of next year.

The Sanofi / GSK candidate is in the second phase, where the vaccine will be given to hundreds of people so that scientists can learn more about its safety and the correct dosage.

They plan to start the phase 3 study by the end of the year.

When will the results of these studies be available?

UK Vaccine Task Force Leader Kate Bingham said data from vaccine trials at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, as well as Pfizer with BioNTech, may be available this year.

She said if she put up "pink specs" she would hope to see positive interim data from Oxford and Pfizer BioNtech in early December.

Oxford vaccine team leader Professor Andrew Pollard said he was optimistic that data on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine will be available by the end of the year.

Professor Robin Shattock, who leads Imperial College London's Covid-19 vaccine effort, said data on its effectiveness will be available by mid-next year.

Does the UK have access to these potential vaccines?

In August, the government announced that the UK had secured access to six Covid-19 vaccine candidates in development, equivalent to 340 million doses.

Ms. Bingham said around four million doses of vaccine should be available by the end of the year.

The UK has also received 30 million doses of the vaccine developed by BioNtech and Pfizer.

Offerings include four different types of vaccines – adenoviral vaccines, mRNA vaccines, inactivated whole virus vaccines, and protein adjuvant vaccines.

Adenoviral vaccines are weakened versions of adenoviruses, while mRNA candidates consist of small or inactivated doses of the entire disease-causing organism.

Inactivated whole virus vaccines, on the other hand, contain whole bacteria or viruses that have been killed, while protein-adjuvant bursts are those where an adjuvant is added to boost the immune response.

Should any of these candidates be admitted, the most vulnerable, the elderly, those living in nursing homes, and health and social care workers will stand in line to receive a bump, followed by those at high risk.

When will a coronavirus vaccine be available?

A vaccine typically takes years, often decades, to develop, but scientists working on potential coronavirus bursts hope to get the same amount of work in a few months.

Most experts are optimistic that a vaccine is expected to be available in mid-2021, around 12 to 18 months after the new coronavirus first appeared.

Sir Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said the "expectation" is that every vaccination program will begin in the New Year – until positive results from clinical trials are available.

Meanwhile, Ms. Bingham said she has 50% confidence that by Easter or early summer next year all vulnerable people in the country will have a vaccine.

Prof. Pollard said clinical trials would have to take place in the child population before Covid-19 vaccines could be given to adolescents.

He said, “These studies are in the pipeline, but right now we don't have any data on immune response or child safety, and that has to be done in the normal scientific process, and I would anticipate that it will be later this year or early next year happen. & # 39;

Where are the vaccines given?

Sir Simon said a potential vaccination program will have vaccines delivered to general practitioners' offices, pharmacies and mass test centers – including the Nightingale hospitals.

He said general practitioners will be on standby from December if a vaccine is made available before Christmas.

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