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Covid jab 'rolled out next month so thousands vaccinated daily by Christmas'

Tens of thousands of people could be injected with the coronavirus vaccine from as early as next month, leaked documents suggest.

Under proposals seen by the Sun newspaper. five mass vaccination centres are planned to be in action by Christmas.

Hundreds of NHS staff, including trainee nurses and paramedics, are expected to be called up to run centres in London, Leeds and Hull.

A source told The Sun: ‘The earliest we are likely to get the first trial results is in a month’s time – which means the best case scenario for a potential roll out is just before Christmas.

‘But planning is well under way, so there will be no delay in vaccination once we have a working jab.’

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The most vulnerable will be given the vaccine first, with a fleet of mobile units used to reach people in care homes and isolated communities.

GPs and pharmacists will also be asked to assist in the huge vaccination effort.

The documents have marked the end of this month as the vaccine roll out date, but this will not be confirmed until UK regulators and the European Medicines Agency approve it.

The proposals also suggested other health workers including vets, dieticians and chiropodists may also help administer the doses if regulations are relaxed to allow it.

Care home residents and staff are the first on the list to get the vaccine as soon as it is ready.

Those aged over 80 and NHS staff are next, followed by all over 65s, younger adults at higher risk and people over 50.

Some care home managers were asked for a list of eligible frontline staff last month. 

It comes after the health secretary confirmed the British Army will be involved in helping distribute the vaccine.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference on Sunday, Matt Hancock said a ‘combination of the NHS and the armed forces’ are already working on ‘making the rollout happen’.

He said the doses would be distributed based on a prioritisation list, noting that it was important to ‘get the vaccine to the people who are most likely to be badly affected by coronavirus first’.

Calling the vaccine a ‘great hope’, he told the conference: ‘The Prime Minister said this morning there will be some bumpy months ahead but we are working as hard as we can to get a vaccine as fast as is safely possible.

‘The plans are in train. A combination of the NHS and the armed forces are involved in the logistics of making this happen, making the rollout happen.

‘Because it’s not just about developing the vaccine and then testing the vaccine – which is what’s happening now – it’s then a matter of rolling out the vaccine according to priority, according to clinical need.

‘We have set out the order in which people will get it, we have set that out in draft pending the final clinical data.’

The leading contender in the race to find a vaccine is Oxford University, where trials have been ongoing since April.

Around 100 million doses of the vaccination have already been ordered by the Government, although it has not yet been approved.

The jabs developed by Oxford University require two inoculations, 28 days apart, adding another logistical challenge to the mass rollout.

To administer two doses of a vaccine to 53 million adults in the six-month time period would involve 600,000 jabs a day. 

The head of the country’s vaccine taskforce, Kate Bingham, said earlier this week less than half of Britain will get vaccinated against Covid-19.

She claimed ministers are hoping around 30 million people will receive the potentially life-saving jab, out of a total of almost 67 million in the population.

Ms Bingham said: ‘We just need to vaccinate everyone at risk’, claiming no one under the age of 18 will receive a dose.

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