As part of the NHS’ COVID-19 drive, thousands of health care workers and hospital staff will be deployed to work at mass vaccination centres to carry out 5000 vaccinations per day, according to NHS officials who are helping plan the vaccination process.
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Facilities such as town halls, conference centres and football stadiums are to become centres for mass vaccination, aiming to vaccinate at least 2000 and up to 5000 people per day. In urban areas, the NHS say there will be a network of these facilities so that vaccinations can be carried out efficiently and effectively.
These mass vaccination centres will play a vital role in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. An estimated 22 million people getting the vaccination will get two doses each. Priority will be given to those working and living in care homes, NHS staff, and prioritised groups of those aged 50 or over.
Currently, there are 1,560 community vaccination centres run by General Practitioners, with the new mass testing centres complementing the ones already in use. Community-based vaccination centres will aim to vaccinate between 200 and 500 people a day.
An official from Whitehall told The Guardian: “We are looking to vaccinate as many people as is humanly possible as quickly as possible. We want to get the country back to normal as soon as possible, which would allow us to open up the economy.”
Mobile vans and home visits are also part of the planned vaccine roll-out. Visits to prisons are also being planned for by the NHS.
The layout and operation of these venues will allow social distancing to be maintained. Those coming for a vaccine will have their temperature checked before entering the premises, and a 15-minute recovery time will be allowed for those who have had their jab.
Although these plans have not yet been made official, a full, detailed “deployment plan” is expected to be published next week. The plans have become public knowledge since the UK government announced it had spent £50m on a manufacturing plant in Wales, to ensure that the supply of Oxford University’s development vaccine would be realised. The university’s project, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, is projected to be the second coronavirus vaccine after the one recently announced by Pfizer.
Pfizer has its own plans to manufacture the vaccine in Puurs in Belgium, which will supply 1,500 vaccination centres in England.