All adults to receive vaccine by autumn as jab hubs open doors
Every adult in the UK will be offered a coronavirus vaccine by the autumn, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said ahead of unveiling the jab roll-out plan on Monday.
Seven regional mass vaccine hubs will open their doors at sports stadiums and business centres across England on Monday morning, with the Health Secretary set to pay a visit to one.
These large-scale sites, which can deliver thousands of jabs each week, will initially administer the vaccine to the over-80s and frontline health and care staff.
Members of the public have been advised against trying to book an appointment at the hubs, which are based at sites including the London Nightingale Hospital, Bristol’s Ashton Gate stadium and Manchester’s Etihad tennis club.
The NHS is instead contacting 600,000 people aged over 80 who live within a 45-minute drive from one of the centres to invite them to take up a slot.
On Sunday, Mr Hancock revealed that around two million jabs have been administered so far.
He disclosed that more than 200,000 people a day were receiving a dose and that a third of those aged over 80 had been given the jab.
On Monday afternoon he will set out full details of the Government’s vaccines delivery plan at a Downing Street press conference.
The NHS has trained 80,000 vaccinators. It is understood that the majority are health service staff, but thousands of volunteers from St John Ambulance have also been enlisted.
There are 1,000 vaccination sites set up across the UK, with a further 200 expected to be established by the end of the week.
These include GP-led centres, where the majority of jabs are expected to take place, as well as hospitals and the regional mass hubs.
The mass centres, which have also been set up at Epsom racecourse in Surrey, Millennium Point in Birmingham, Robertson House in Stevenage and the Centre for Life in Newcastle, could expand to 50 eventually under Government plans.
The whole nation will have been offered a jab within months, Mr Hancock signalled on Sunday.
“Every adult will be offered the vaccine by the autumn, absolutely”, he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show and confirmed that this applied to all Britons aged 18 or over.
The over-50s are due to be vaccinated by the spring, while the 13 million most vulnerable are set to receive their first dose of the jab by February 15 under the Government’s timetable.
This includes care home residents and staff, all Britons aged over 75, those between 70 and 75 who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and frontline health and social care workers.
People queue outside a coronavirus vaccination centre at Guy's Hospital in London
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/Shutterstock
Setting an optimistic tone, the Health Secretary said the nation could look forward to a “brilliant summer” and told Times Radio: “I’ve booked my cottage in Cornwall.”
He acknowledged that coronavirus jabs would continue to be needed in future, saying it’s “highly likely” Britons would require a vaccine each year.
He raised the prospect of the UK introducing a “dual vaccination programme” with jabs to protect against both coronavirus and flu in coming years.
He said: “From today, the full scale of our plans will be published, so the public can be assured of the time, effort and resources that have gone and will go into ensuring we protect the British people from the scourge of this virus.
“The UK vaccine delivery plan will be the keystone of our exit out of the pandemic, but we all must continue to play our part by staying at home, following the rules and keeping hands, face, space at the forefront of our minds when out and about.”