NHS in Lincolnshire prepares for roll-out of vaccine

The NHS in Lincolnshire has been preparing for the arrival of a vaccine in the county 'for many months'.
The Covid-19 vaccine is on its way.The Covid-19 vaccine is on its way.
The Covid-19 vaccine is on its way.

The news tens of thousands of people nationwide will receive an effective and high-quality Covid-19 vaccine from next week has been welcomed locally and, according to Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, details of the roll-out are being finalised.

A spokesman said: "The NHS in Lincolnshire welcomes confirmation that a coronavirus vaccine has been approved by the government following recommendation by the MHRA.

"We have been working with partners across the system for many months to prepare for the arrival of the vaccine and we are now finalising details in readiness for a confirmed start date, as the NHS across the country is."

Tens of thousands of people will receive an effective and high-quality Covid-19 vaccine from next week, as the UK becomes the first country in the western world to authorise a vaccine.

Rigorous clinical trials involving thousands of people and extensive analysis of the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness by experts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) were held before the Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine was authorised for use in the UK.

The NHS has decades of experience in rolling out successful widespread vaccination programmes.

In line with the recommendations of the independent Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the vaccine will be rolled out to the priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 and health and care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and risk, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

The vaccine is given in two doses - three weeks apart - and data from clinical trials showed the vaccine is 94 percent effective in protecting people over the age of 65 from coronavirus, with trials suggesting it works equally well in people of all ages, races and ethnicities. There were also no serious safety concerns reported in the trials.

The UK was the first country to pre-order supplies of the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech, with 800,000 doses being made available next week and 40 million doses ordered overall - enough to vaccinate up to a third of the population, and the majority of doses anticipated in the first half of next year.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is a momentous occasion and provides fresh hope that we can beat this pandemic, with the UK at the forefront of this revolutionary breakthrough.

“I can’t thank enough every single person who has contributed to this triumph - from the thousands of volunteers who took part in clinical trials, to the teams of expert scientists and clinicians at the MHRA who carefully analysed reams of data.

“This vaccine, when combined with effective treatments, will form a vital part in making Covid-19 a manageable disease, hopefully allowing us to return to normality in the future.

“This work will take time so for now we must all play our part and abide by the local restrictions to suppress the virus and protect the NHS as they start this vital work.”

NHS England will outline further details on deployment shortly, but the plans will include:

• Hospital hubs for NHS and care staff and older patients to get vaccinated;

• Local community services with local teams and GPs already signing up to take part in the programme;

• Vaccination centres across the country, ensuring people can access a vaccine regardless of where they live.

Here is the full prioritisation list:

1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3. All those 75 years of age and over

4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. All those 65 years of age and over.

6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

7. All those 60 years of age and over

8. All those 55 years of age and over

9. All those 50 years of age and over