6th Jul, 2022

UHCW to start rolling out Covid-19 vaccine tomorrow

Editorial Correspondent 7th Dec, 2020 Updated: 7th Dec, 2020

COVENTRY and Warwickshire’s University Hospital will start vaccinating patients against Covid-19 tomorrow (Tuesday December 8) – as part of the biggest immunisation programme in British history.

NHS workers, care home residents and the over-80s will be the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech jab with the majority of the public expected to be immunised early next year.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab, HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs – hardworking staff will once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from this awful disease.”

The vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge during transportation as it needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.

Nationally, NHS staff have been working through the weekend to prepare the sites for the launch and accept deliveries.

Coventry is one of 50 hubs involved in rolling out this first wave of vaccinations and more hospitals will join over the coming weeks as the programme ramps up. Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending UHCW as an outpatient, and those who being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive doses.

Hospitals will also begin inviting over 80s in for a jab and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.

Any appointments not booked for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from coronavirus. All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so during the following week, beginning December 14 – with more practices across the UK joining in on a phased basis.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

Back in October Ramesh Arasaradnam, Professor of Gastroenterology, at UHCW was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s honours list for his dedication to patient care, education and clinical research during the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as working on the frontline he helped to create a coronavirus trial.

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