politics

Oxford coronavirus vaccine 'to be rolled out across country on January 4'


Plans have been drawn up to roll out the Oxford coronavirus vaccine across the county on January 4, it has been reported.

The government has reportedly set a target of 2m vaccinations, with either the Oxford or Pfizer jab, within a fortnight.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be approved by regulators within days, paving the way for mass vaccination centres at sports stadia and conference venues to open next month.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which is already being deployed, it can be stored in a standard fridge rather than at -70C.

Several million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been manufactured and are ready to be deployed, reports The Sunday Telegrpah. The government has ordered 100 million jabs, with most expected to be rolled out by March.

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A volunteer being administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University

The Oxford vaccine is much simpler to distribute in large quantities because it’s easier to store and handle.

“We are deploying as fast as we get the stuff in,” a Whitehall insider reportedly told the paper.

“The constraint is supply, not deployment. The protocol around Pfizer is really difficult, but with AstraZeneca it’s much easier, it’s like the flu vaccine.”

Speaking last week, the lead researcher at Oxford University, Professor Sarah Gilbert, said: “The regulators have to be given their time but I really hope that the moment isn’t too far off.”

Scientists at Oxford University spent months working on the vaccine.



Margaret Keenan became the first person in the United Kingdom to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine

And ministers have given £88million since March to help accelerate the project.

However the rollout could turn into a PPE-style fiasco, MPs, doctors and care chiefs have been warned in the Sunday Mirror.

Vaccine appointments for the most vulnerable are being cancelled at the last minute because of the delay, doctors say.

And 12,000 of the country’s 15,000 care homes are not even being considered for jabs right now – with only seven areas of England getting them so far.

Health leaders have also raised concerns many frontline NHS staff are still not being sent for jabs.

On Christmas Eve the Government said 616,933 people in the UK had been given a first dose – 512,594 in England.

About 1,200 GP surgeries are expected to be involved in the Oxford vaccination programme.





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