Elderly people in care homes and their carers are top of the list to receive a Covid-19 vaccine after the UK became the first country in the world to approve a jab from Pfizer and BioNTech
Hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex will be among the first to receive supplies of the new coronavirus vaccine.
The news follows the announcement that a new vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has been approved for use in the UK – news that has been widely welcomed in Suffolk.
Nick Hulme, the chief executive of ESNEFT, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, said on Twitter that the trust would be one of the first to receive the vaccine.
“Thrilled that ESNEFT has been chosen as an early adopter for the vaccine,” said Mr Hulme.
“We are ready to go! Finally some good news.”
The vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective in studies.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 20million people.
About 10m doses will be available shortly for priority groups, including healthcare workers.
Hospitals, mass vaccination centres and GPs and pharmacists will be helping to offer the vaccine.
Tania Farrow, chief officer at the Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said that planning was well underway locally to organise jabs in Suffolk.
“Pharmacies are working with NHSE, GPs and other providers to support the local vaccination programme as soon as the vaccine is made available,” said Ms Farrow.
“Planning for this is well underway locally and pharmacies will be looking at how best they can support the NHS as roll out plans are finalised.”
Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP, Matt Hancock said: “This is a momentous occasion and provides fresh hope that we can beat this pandemic, with the UK at the forefront of this revolutionary breakthrough.
“I can’t thank enough every single person who has contributed to this triumph – from the thousands of volunteers who took part in clinical trials, to the teams of expert scientists and clinicians at the MHRA who carefully analysed reams of data.
“This vaccine, when combined with effective treatments, will form a vital part in making Covid-19 a manageable disease, hopefully allowing us to return to normality in the future.”
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge reacted to the news of the new vaccine on Twitter saying: “As tier two restrictions commence in Suffolk, a more positive future looms.” On Wednesday, it was announced that a new vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech had been approved for use in the UK.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “This is an important next step in our response to the Coronavirus pandemic and hospitals will shortly kick off the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history.
“The NHS has a proven track record of delivering large scale vaccinations from the winter flu jab to BCG and, once the final hurdles are cleared and the vaccine arrives in England’s hospitals, health service staff will begin offering people this ground-breaking jab in a programme that will expand to cover the whole country in the coming months.”
Published by the East Anglian Daily Times.