The Government is hoping to start vaccinating against COVID-19 next month, with the bulk of the vaccination roll out in the New Year, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced this evening (Friday).
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is now going through a rigorous analysis as a result of the Government formally asking the independent regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to assess the vaccine with a view to authorising its use as soon as possible.
Tonight’s news is a massive breakthrough in the battle against COVID-19, with the Pfizer vaccine said to be 95% effective with no serious safety concerns. Other vaccines are also being created.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is instructing the NHS to be ready to distribute the vaccine to population ‘as fast as it can be produced’, from as early as December.
The vaccine will be available across the UK through the NHS, for free, and will be distributed based on need. Priority will be given to those at greatest risk.
It’s been confirmed that the vaccine will be delivered through vaccination centres, through vaccination hubs at hospitals and then, in the New Year, a community vaccination roll out through GPs and pharmacists.
Furthermore, it has been announced tonight that free flu jabs will be made available for all over 50s from December.