Image above: Boris Johnson with Chief Executive of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens and Brigadier Phil Prosser
The Prime Minister gave a press conference last night (Thursday 7 January) with Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS and Brigadier Phil Prosser, who is leading the Armed Services’ contribution to organising the roll out of Covid vaccinations.
He said over 1,000 GP led sites were at the forefront of the vaccination programme and that the ‘first wave’ of community pharmacies would soon also be involved.
In Chiswick elderly people have started getting their vaccinations at Chiswick Health Centre.
The plan is to provide a vaccination centre for everyone within a ten mile radius of their home, Boris Johnson said. He promised every elderly care home resident would be offered a coronavirus jab by the end of this month.
“We’ve now vaccinated 1.26 million people in England, 113,000 in Scotland, 49,000 in Wales and 46,000 in Northern Ireland. So, all together, nearly 1.5 million people across the UK have now received their first dose and within two to three weeks all of them will have a very considerable degree of immunity.”
Thanks to the arrival of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which he said could be stored at room temperature, the government are able to “accelerate the pace of vaccination in care homes”, starting this week.
The first dose had been used today, he said, “and by the end of the month we hope to have offered every elderly care home resident a vaccine.
“By the end of the week, there will be over 1,000 GP-led sites providing vaccines, 223 hospital sites, seven giant vaccination centres and a first wave of 200 community pharmacies.
“If all goes well, these together should have the capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day by January 15 and it is our plan that everyone should have a vaccination available within a radius of 10 miles”.
Image above: Chief Executive of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens
More than 800 patients a day are being admitted to London hospitals with Covid-19
Chief Executive of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens said more than 800 patients a day are being admitted to London hospitals with Covid-19.
“That is the equivalent of a new St Thomas’ hospital full of Covid patients, fully staffed, every day, or a new University College Hospital, full of coronavirus patients every day,” he said.
“The entirety of the health service in London is mobilising to do everything it possibly can but the rate of growth in admissions – that is what collectively the country has got to get under control.”
A Consultant at one of west London’s hospitals told The Chiswick Calendar on Monday (4 January) that his hospital was on the brink of being overwhelmed. Read his blog here:
Sir Simon talked about expanding the supply of vaccine, extending the range of places which would be offering it and expanding partnerships with organisations which could help. He spoke of using hospitals as the base to offer vaccinations for are homes, social care workers and hospital staff and using larger vaccination centres such as sports stadia as venues.
Image above: Brigadier Phil Prosser
‘Lumps and bumps in the road ahead’ with vaccination programme
Brigadier Phil Prosser explained that the Armed Forces’ mission was to support the NHS. He was applying his military experience to the problem, using techniques the Armed Services had tried and tested both in the UK and abroad, but that the vaccination programme was on a scale that had not been done before. The job on hand was on an “unparalleled” scale of logistical complexity.
He told the press conference their aim was to supply the vaccine to people as soon as they had it, not to leave it sitting in warehouses.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock turned up to a GP surgery in central London earlier in the day to promote the Oxford Astra- Zeneca vaccine, only to find they hadn’t received any. The batch they were expecting arrived after he’d left.
Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward has written to him saying the city had not been supplied with stocks of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine yet and that supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine due to “run out” on Friday.
Boris Johnson said there was bound to be “lumpiness and bumpiness” in provision and it may be that GPs wouldn’t get exactly what they were expecting by way of deliveries exactly when they were expecting it.
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