England opens mass vaccination sites as virus spike fears spread

A patient receives an injection of a Covid-19 vaccine

The Government has laid out its targets for at least two million people to receive the jab each week, with tens of millions set to be immunised by spring.

Those in the four highest-risk levels - which includes people over 70, clinically vulnerable people and frontline health workers - would be offered vaccines by February 15, he said. However, he cautioned there was concern about the spread of the virus in supermarkets and there was a need to ensure people wore masks while in them.

The drastic expansion of the vaccination programme means all adults will be offered a vaccine by the autumn, the DHSC say.

The government and the NHS have also mobilised a workforce of over 80,000 health professionals to help in the delivery of the programme across the different vaccination sites, with over 200,000 additional members of the public expressing their interest in helping with the non-clinical elements of the rollout such as administrative support, logistics, stewards and first aiders.

The most risky time of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain is yet to come before vaccine rollout has an impact, Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty warned Monday.

The next few months will present a significant opportunity to turn the tide of battle against COVID - I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people's lives after a hard year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said: "If all goes well, these together should have the capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day by 15 January, and it is our plan that everyone should have a vaccination available within a radius of 10 miles". Phase 2 will look at the best tactics for achieving protection for the whole United Kingdom population, and may include vaccination of those at high risk of catching COVID-19 or delivering key public services.

He added: "From today, the full scale of our plans will be published, so the public can be assured of the time, effort and resources that have gone and will go into ensuring we protect the British people from the scourge of this virus". This is the greatest logistical challenge of our time and we must all play our part. To date, the government has invested over £230 million into manufacturing a successful vaccine. "We'll do whatever it takes to get this vaccine rolled out as fast as possible".

Over the next few days staff and volunteers at the centre expect to see a growing number of people over the age of eighty, who are classed as vulnerable to COVID due to their age.

I'm sure, for the vast majority of people, they would prefer to have their vaccine during the day.

"We are now very close to the point with the vaccinations where we are able to get on top of this, but it is not yet", Professor Whitty said.

Seven mass coronavirus vaccination sites opened across England Monday as the government raced to dose millions of people while a new strain of the disease runs rampant across the country.



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