Lincolnshire health bosses welcomed the first UK-approved COVID-19 vaccine, which will be rolled out from next week to priority groups such as NHS workers.
The Pfizer vaccine must be constantly kept cold at -70℃, so it’s likely rollout will begin in hospitals first as they have the equipment to regulate the low temperature.
It will be followed by local vaccination services in GP surgeries, as well as large vaccination centres across the UK.
Two doses will be offered around a month apart from each other.
Phase 1 vaccine priority groups:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- All those 80 years of age and over as well as frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over as well as clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
Professor Derek Ward, Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire, said: “This vaccine is a fantastic weapon in our arsenal,” but “it’s very early days.”
He explained “winter’s going to be difficult” but the NHS has “really good systems and processes in place” to combat the virus.
“Come spring time, we will be in a much better position… let’s keep pushing against this horrible disease.”
Similarly, health secretary, Matt Hancock said “By the spring we’re going to be through this.”
In a briefing this morning, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said its “first priorities” were the prevention of deaths and maintenance of health and social care systems.
Data shows the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective and, the committee said the safety was “similar to others” with “very mild side effects”.
They said a “rigorous” review had been carried out.
“Everyone can be absolutely confident no corners whatsoever have been cut,” said Dr June Raine, chief executive of the UK’s vaccine and medicine regulator.
People in Lincolnshire had mixed reactions to the new vaccine news on The Lincolnite’s Facebook page:
Jess Logsdail said: “Those who refuse the vaccine, antivaxxers, clearly don’t care about anyone else other then themselves, they don’t even care about their own family.”
Andy Baggot commented: “Does it seem strange to anyone else that it took a relatively short time to develop this vaccine, yet over years of development and research there’s still no vaccine/cure for cancer, common cold, AIDS, MS etc…..or is it just my cynical self?”
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is set to speak this evening about the vaccine and roll out to the UK. Treatments from other manufacturers are also in the pipeline.