The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK has announced that the first phases of mass COVID-19 vaccinations will begin on Tuesday. It will become the first country to authorise the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Healthcare secretary, Matt Hancock described the coming week as a historic moment for the global COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the elderly and frontline workers will be among the first patients to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in the UK.
“This coming week will be a historic moment as we begin vaccination against COVID-19,” he said, according to Business Insider.
“We are prioritizing the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.”
The NHS confirmed that efforts to administer the Pfizer vaccine, which is said to be 95% effective, will begin on Tuesday and that the first doses will arrive at hospitals on Monday.
“People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk,” the NHS said in the statement. “Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID.”
“Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday. The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals by Monday in readiness,” National Medical Director Stephen Powis said in a statement.
“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large-scale vaccination programs – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease,”
Last Wednesday, Pfizer said that more than 800,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations will be delivered to the UK this coming week, meaning that 400,000 people will be receiving the two-dose vaccination, as reported by BBC.