United Kingdom pins hope on vaccines to save medical system

Modesto Morganelli
Gennaio 13, 2021

Britain is facing the worst weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief medical officer said on Monday, with the health service entering a "dangerous time" as deaths and cases hit record highs while a mass vaccination programme picks up steam.

By the end of January, everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site or, for a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams.

The pop-up hub is the next step in the drive for mass COVID immunisation, created to add to the region's existing vaccination capacity, with further centres opening in the coming weeks.

Mass vaccination centres will also be used to administer jabs to frontline NHS staff and social care workers offering community support, and will be the first to deploy trained volunteers from St John Ambulance and the NHS Volunteers Responder scheme.

"And it's very important we actually vaccinate the maximum number of people over this really risky period over winter - the next few weeks, which are going to be the worst weeks of the pandemic in terms of numbers into the NHS, we must be vaccinating as many people as we can". "I have quite a large family, who all live near me, and feel it is extremely important to protect myself and them".

Across the country another 489 people have died in the last day from Covid-19 and the numbers of new infections are still rapidly increasing.

Letters are being sent out to people aged 80, inviting them to book an appointment.

However, anybody with such a concern has been advised that they can wait for a local appointment in the future if they prefer.

His words followed those of England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, who said the only way to prevent avoidable deaths is to stay at home wherever possible as the NHS faces the "most unsafe situation" in living memory. "And whether you have had a vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives - that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the "hands, face, space" guidance when you can't".

The new vaccine centres are being joined later in the week by hundreds more GP-led and hospital services along with the first pharmacy-led pilot sites, taking the total to around 1,200, according to the health service.

Those in the four highest risk levels, including those over 70, the most clinically vulnerable and frontline health workers, will be offered the vaccines by February 15, he said. "The NHS will contact you directly to invite you to book and have your vaccination when it's your turn".

Mr Hancock, who is due to visit one of the sites, will set out the vaccines delivery plan at a Downing Street press conference on Monday afternoon.

The centres are an additional option for people, who can book an appointment through the national booking service online or over the phone.

"While my NHS colleagues are working hard to ensure we can offer vaccines to all of those who would benefit most over the next month, at the same time as providing care for everyone who needs it, we need the public to help us".

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