GPs are to start booking Covid vaccine appointments within days as it’s revealed the UK is to get at least one million more jabs imminently.
The news comes as hundreds of OAPs received the vaccine after the UK became the first country in the world to start using the Pfizer vaccine.
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GPs are to start booking more Covid vaccine appointments within days[/caption]
It has now emerged two more consignments of the vaccine will be delivered both next week and the following week – on top of the initial 800,000 doses.
The Times reports that means the NHS should now have four million doses of the jab before Christmas.
And it will be able to start the next phase of vaccine delivery with hundreds of GP immunisation centres poised to be up and running by next week.
Patients eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will reportedly be notified by their GP mainly by the post or by phone.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Tuesday: “From next week we will expand deployment to start vaccinations by GPs and we will vaccinate in care homes by Christmas.
“As more vaccines come on stream in the new year, we will open vaccination centres in larger venues, such as sports stadiums and conference halls.”
NHS chiefs were initially unsure when they would get supplies beyond the initial 800,000 doses but have now been told two more loads are on the way.
Henry Vokes, 98, receives his vaccination at Southmead Hospital, Bristol[/caption]
Either 1.2 million or 1.6 million are expected to arrive next week, with the remainder of an initial four million arriving the week after.
Stephen Powis, the NHS England medical director, said: “From next week, we’ll see GP surgeries join up across the country to support hospitals in the delivery of the jab, followed by larger vaccination centres in key locations nationwide.”
Eventually there are expected to be about 1,250 GP vaccination centres and about a quarter of them will open next week.
Each centre will be given fridges to store the Pfizer vaccine, keeping it at a constant temperature even when the door is frequently opened
Earlier today, a Brit grandmother became the first in the world to receive Pfizer’s Covid-19 jab outside a clinical trial.
Margaret Keenan, 90, was given the jab in Coventry just after 6.30am marking the start of a phased NHS rollout of the vaccine to older people, health staff and care home workers.
Jabs will be administered at 70 hospital hubs across the UK from today – dubbed “V-Day” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Mrs Keenan received the vaccine from nurse May Parsons at University Hospital in Coventry.
She said: “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19.
“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year after being on my own for most of the year.
“I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90 then you can have it too.”
The PM visited the vaccination centre at Guy’s Hospital in London this morning to meet some of the first people there to receive the vaccine.
Lyn Wheeler, 81, from Bromley, was the first patient to be given the jab at Guy’s and was vaccinated in front of Mr Johnson.
When he asked her how it had been, she said: “It’s all for Britain.”
Mr Johnson said: “It was very, very exciting just to talk to Lyn about the vaccine that she has just taken.
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“She is 81 and it is really very moving to hear her say she is doing it for Britain, which is exactly right – she is protecting herself but also helping to protect the entire country.”
The Prime Minister urged people to take up the jab if offered it by the NHS, adding: “To all those who are scared (of getting vaccinated) – don’t be.
“You have seen Lyn take it, you have seen people take the vaccine this morning in large numbers. There’s nothing to be nervous about.”