Coronavirus vaccine news: Hospitals prepare for rollout in 10 DAYS with NHS staff first in | UK | News (Reports)

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Hospitals in England are said to have been told to prepare for the rollout of a coronavirus jab in the coming weeks. Early results of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine suggested it is 95 percent effective at protecting against the virus, but it needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures.

Hospitals in England could be receiving their first deliveries of the jab in 10 days time with regulatory approval expected within days, according to The Guardian.

Sources from several hospitals across the country told the newspaper that NHS England said stocks of the vaccine should be expected to arrive on 7, 8 or 9 December.

The timeframe, however, will depend on whether the vaccine is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

NHS England have not confirmed a date for the rollout of the jab due to several processes, including the approval, that still need to take place.

NHS workers are expected to be at the front of the queue for the vaccine with care home residents and people over 80 having to wait, according to The Guardian.

The move to vaccinate NHS staff first with the Pfizer jab comes despite the Government classing the other two groups as top priorities for coronavirus immunisation.

It is reportedly due to Pfizer’s short shelf life and logistical difficulties transporting the vaccine.

Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had asked MHRA to access the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for us in Britain.

READ MORE: Who will get coronavirus vaccine first? Full list

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Once the Pfizer vaccine leaves the factory in Belgium, it can only be taken out of -70C four times before being injected into a patient.

This makes it more difficult and expensive to transport and distribute to patients.

Initial guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) gave priority to older care home residents before health care workers and the over-80s.

But the committee added that a final decision on the distribution of a vaccine would depend on the jab’s characteristics.

On Monday, MHRA said it had received the necessary information to progress its review on whether to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and is expecting to receive 10 million doses by the end of the year.

Britain has also ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab which does not need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures.

The Government have also asked MHRA to access the Oxford vaccine for approval.

On Friday, the UK recorded 16,022 new COVID-19 cases and 521 new deaths related to the coronavirus.

This brings the total coronavirus deaths in Britain to over 57,000.

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