The latest daily figures for the UK on December 4 showed a further 14,879 people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the UK’s total cases to 1,674,134. And 60,113 people are confirmed to have died. Counting all deaths where coronavirus is mentioned on the death certificate, the UK has surpassed 75,000.
Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, said: “This figure is yet another tragic milestone during our fight against this pandemic and shows the scale of the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 has had on this country. This deadly virus is still spreading and will continue to do so for some time”.
“While news about the Pfizer vaccine has given us all hope that the end of this pandemic could now be in sight, 60,000 deaths should serve as a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet”, Dr. Nagpaul said
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This coming week will be a historic moment as we begin vaccination against COVID-19.
“We are prioritizing the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff, and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.”
Now the UK would become the first country to authorize the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which Pfizer says is 95% effective.
Pfizer told the BBC on Wednesday, December 2, that the UK will receive 800,000 doses of the vaccine this coming week – meaning the first wave of two-shot vaccinations will be enough for roughly 400,000 people.
In total, the UK has ordered roughly 40 million doses, meaning it will have enough to vaccinate 20 million out of its population of 66.7 million.
“Despite the huge complexities, hospitals will kickstart the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history from Tuesday. The first tranche of vaccine deliveries will be landing at hospitals by Monday in readiness,” NHS national medical director Stephen Powis said in a statement.
England’s National Health Service (NHS) has released the details of its official rollout of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which will begin early next week.
- It will start administering COVID-19 vaccinations beginning on December 8. The first “wave” of injections will be done at 50 hospital hubs.
- The first people to get the vaccine will be people over 80, care home workers, and NHS workers who are at “higher risk.”
- The first batch of vaccinations will be done at hospitals around the country, with GP surgeries starting to administer injections starting the week beginning December 14.
- As more doses of the vaccine become available, the NHS plans to set up mass injection centres in sporting venues and conference spaces.
- “People aged 80 and over as well as care home workers will be first to receive the jab, along with NHS workers who are at higher risk,” the NHS said in a statement.
The NHS said patients aged 80 or over who are already in hospital as an outpatient or being discharged home after a hospital stay would be among the first to get the vaccine. Hospitals will also start inviting over-80s to come in for a jab and talk to care home providers to get their staff vaccinated.
“Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID,” the NHS said. Patients will need to return for a booster jab 21 days after the initial injection, the NHS said.
“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large-scale vaccination programs – 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,” he added.
The NHS said that the following week – starting December 14 – a small number of GP surgeries will begin administering the vaccine. The vaccine’s rollout will eventually include large-scale vaccination centres in sporting venues and conference spaces, according to the NHS press release.