PLANS FOR drive-thru Covid vaccination centres could see millions more Brits jabbed quicker through car windows.
Giving Brits the Covid jab while they sit in their cars is the "way forward" to get the country out of lockdown and return to normal life.
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A pilot project has already seen 2,300 people receive the Covid jab in a single day – which was 360 per cent more than in a clinic.
The drive-through pilot in a car park near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, had a vaccination rate of almost five times the 500-a-day that medics can do in GP practices.
Patients receiving the life-saving jab have to park up for 15 minutes after being inoculated in case they suffer any side-effects.
But health bosses fear that unreliable vaccine supply could hamper any plans to scale up the scheme – despite 10 million extra doses arriving in the coming weeks.
Dr Richard West, senior partner at Woolpit Health Centre, came up with the idea for drive-through centres.
He said: “We could be vaccinating millions of people a week using drive-throughs.
"If the Government really wants to crack on and get us back to normal, this is the way forward.”
Other drive-thru vaccination centres have also opened up in Kent, Hertfordshire and Warwickshire – but there is no national framework for them yet.
Richard Vautrey, from the British Medical Association, said: “Drive-through clinics are a good idea.
"Some GPs have used them for flu jabs. We should be running them for Covid if we can.”
NHS England said: “Although we will continue to open more convenient vaccination centres as supply allows, it’s clear from our progress so far that the biggest factor in how quickly people can get a jab is the availability of supply.”
This comes as UK Covid deaths have fallen to their lowest level in five months, with 52 fatalities and 4,618 cases in the past day.
Today's figures mean there has been a 37 per cent drop in Covid deaths in the past week.
Daily deaths are at their lowest level since October 12.
More than 24 million people have received the first dose of a Covid jab, with another 512,108 given out yesterday.
Another 52,155 second doses were administered in the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Professor Lockdown has said he is "80 per cent sure" that Brits will be able to enjoy this summer as the vaccine rollout beats back Covid.
Neil Ferguson, one of the scientists who spearheaded the UK's lockdown policies, believes most restrictions will be lifted as around one third of the population have already had their Covid jab.
Prof Ferguson was speaking on the first anniversary of his grim warning that Covid rates in the UK were much higher than original estimations.
It was on his team's advice that the government plunged the UK into lockdown for the first-time almost exactly a year ago on March 16.
However, despite his 80 per cent prediction – he warned there remains a 20 per cent chance that mutating virus variants could derail the progress, reports The Observer.
"It is highly likely that we will have driven Covid down to very low levels of case numbers, and we can begin enjoying summer," he said.
'We will still need to monitor things very carefully and there has yet to be a proper discussion about what we do in autumn.
"Certainly, I think it is highly likely we will have to roll out a booster vaccine to protect against possible new variants.
"So, while I am optimistic overall, I still think there is a 20% chance things could go wrong – with the possible appearance of dangerous new variants which undermine immunity given by vaccines."
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