Jon Findlay, the chief operating officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, reportedly told a meeting of senior leaders from London hospitals that distribution could kick off before the end of this month. Sources told a Sunday newspaper that Mr Findlay said care homes would get the vaccine first, with over-80s and frontline health workers also at the front of the queue. It is understood the jab would be given in two doses, three to four weeks apart.
The latest details came as the UK yesterday recorded a further 156 coronavirus deaths and 20,572 more cases.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens revealed last week that some Nightingale Hospitals would house mass vaccination centres.
He told a press conference that with more than 200 vaccines in development, he expected some of those would be available early next year, “but we want to be ready just in case actually they become available this side of Christmas”.
It was reported yesterday that some major hospitals may become “vaccine hubs”.
Officials are said to be drawing up a list of 500 locations where jabs could be delivered and a source said leisure centres and warehouses could be among buildings repurposed to help deliver the programme.
Sites could include the Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, east London, Woking Leisure Centre and Leeds Town Hall.
The NHS has confirmed that GPs will play a key role in the rollout of any vaccine and they are being sent details of how to deliver the service.
GP magazine Pulse reported that around 1,000-1,500 “general practice-led sites” across England are expected to provide Covid vaccines.
Draft guidance showed practices would need to open 12 hours each day and deliver at least 975 jabs a week.
GPs will reportedly be paid £12.58 for each patient.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce further mass testing, with three more towns to follow Liverpool in having all inhabitants tested.
The locations are said to include one town in the Midlands and another in the south of England.
The Government is also thought to be preparing to cut the time period for self-isolation from 10-14 to days to just seven, in a bid to improve compliance.