HOSPITALS are being told to get ready for a covid vaccine in as little as three weeks as the NHS prepares to give the jabs to the most vulnerable people before Christmas.
In a meeting with senior managers and executives, head of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust Jon Findlay, is believed to have said that a vaccine could be made available before the month ends.
It is believed that the jabs would be made available for residents in care homes, people over the age of 80, and those health professionals working on the frontline.
This comes after wide spread speculation that a vaccine could be produced before the end of the month.
The government is said to be floating around the idea of introducing laws to override the European approval process of vaccines if a safe and potent vaccine is produced before the end of the Brexit transitional period on December 31, according to Mail Online.
Sources said, during the meeting, that Findlay detailed how care homes would be the first in line to receive the vaccines as they account for 40 per cent of coronavirus related deaths in the UK.
It is believed that the jabs will be given in two doses, making sure they are three to four weeks apart.
However, It will not be given to a person who has had a flue vaccine within seven days.
Two hospitals in London, Guy’s and St Thomas and King’s College Hospital will be the focal point for the vaccine, and staff who will be known as a “vaccine taskforce” are set to be employed.
There are said to be plans to establish a network of “Nightingale Vaccination Centres.
It is believed that a list featuring more than 500 locations, which includes vaccination centres and back offices will be agreed upon by the middle of the month.
They will be in full operation by December.
A source is reported to have said: “Existing buildings that can be repurposed, like leisure centres and warehouses will be used, staring in areas of high infection.”
Copper Box Arena, Woking Leisure Centre and Leeds Town Hall are all said to be among the sites.
Sir Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England last week commented he was certain that the healthcare system would be able to “get going”, should a vaccine be made available before Christmas.
The Government is reported to have already made plans to purchase 350 million doses of the six contrasting vaccines which are in the works.
So far, Oxford University and AstraZeneca alongside Pfizer in collaboration with BioNTech are said to have made significant progress are are in the final stages of human trials.
If declared safe by regulators, 14 million doses, split between the two vaccines could be made available by the end of the year, according to the head of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, Kate Bingham.
The vaccine programme could begin next month, with surgeries across the country handed £150 million in order to expand their capacity.
Doctors have been informed by NHS England that they would be paid £12.58 to give the each vaccine dose.
Briefing notes by the NHS states: “We have agreed that the item of service fee will be £12.58 per vaccination which is 25 per cent more than the current fee for service for an influenza vaccination at £10.6,” according to GPonline.
The increase in pay is as a result of additional “training, post-vaccine observation and associated costs thereafter”.
The documents are also reported to state that GPs have been told they will have to work 12 hours a day, for seven days if a vaccine receives the green light.
Highlighting the role of GPs in the programme, a spokesman for the NHS said last night: “GPs will play an important part in delivering a Covid vaccine as soon as it is ready and exact arrangements, which will be announced shortly, will include funding to reflect the complex logistics and preparations required.