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Northampton General Hospital one of the first to start biggest ever NHS vaccination programme

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Northampton General  Hospital has been unveiled as one of the first COVID vaccination hubs as the NHS begins the biggest immunisation programme in history.

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.

Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital Group Chief Executive Simon Weldon said: “The COVID vaccine is really good news for us all as it is the most effective way to protect ourselves from the virus and, hopefully, start our return to normal life again.

“Rolling it out across Northamptonshire is  a huge logistical operation and we are working at some pace to be ready to start vaccinating people as soon as possible.

“I am extremely proud of all involved, which includes staff from across the health system in Northamptonshire working alongside our pharmacy team to create the Northampton General Hospital hub. They are creating the systems needed so we can play our part in the biggest ever vaccination programme.”

Northampton General Hospital is one of 50 hubs in the first wave and more hospitals will start vaccinating over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up. The first vaccines are expected to be given on Tuesday but no date has yet been confirmed for Northampton.

Patients aged 80 and above who are already attending hospital as an outpatient, and those who are being discharged home after a hospital stay, will be among the first to receive the life-saving jab.

Hospitals will also begin inviting over 80s in for a jab and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.

Any appointments not used for these groups will be used for healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID. All those vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later.

GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab. A small number of GP-led primary care networks will begin doing so during the following week (week beginning 14 December) with more practices in more parts of the country joining in on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: 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.

“The NHS has a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – 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.” 

The life-saving vaccine is typically delivered by a simple injection in the shoulder but there is a complex and difficult logistical challenge to deliver from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used.

NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This coming week will be an historic moment as we begin vaccination against COVID-19.

“We are prioritising the most vulnerable first and over-80s, care home staff and NHS colleagues will all be among the first to receive the vaccines.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure we can overcome significant challenges to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible too.

“I urge everybody to play their part to suppress this virus and follow the local restrictions to protect the NHS while they carry out this crucial work.”

 The 50 hospital hubs in the first wave are:

  1. Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
  2. Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  3. East Suffolk And North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
  4. North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
  5. James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  6. Norfolk And Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  7. Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  8. East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  9. Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  10. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  11. Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  12. St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  13. King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  14. King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  15. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  16. Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  17. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  18. University Hospitals Coventry And Warwickshire NHS Trust
  19. Royal Stoke Hospital
  20. Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
  21. University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
  22. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  23. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  24. Shrewsbury And Telford Hospital NHS Trust
  25. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  26. North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
  27. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  28. The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  29. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  30. South Tees NHS Trust
  31. Wirral University Teaching Hospital
  32. Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  33. Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  34. Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  35. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
  36. Blackpool Teaching Hospital
  37. Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust
  38. Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust - Wexham Park Hospital
  39. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  40. East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – William Harvey Hospital
  41. Brighton And Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust -  Royal Sussex County Hospital 
  42. Portsmouth University Hospitals Trust
  43. Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust
  44. Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  45. Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  46. Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  47. University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  48. Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  49. Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  50. North Bristol NHS Trust
Posted on Monday 7th December 2020
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