Revealed: Coronavirus vaccine hubs in Norfolk
- Credit: Denise Bradley/Nick Butcher
Two hospitals in Norfolk will deliver the coronavirus vaccine, it has been revealed.
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) will be among the first 50 hospitals to administer the jab.
It comes after the UK became the first country in the world to give the go-ahead to the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, told a Downing Street briefing that the first people to receive the jab would be the over-80s, care home staff and others identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation who may already have a hospital appointment.
GP practices will then operate local vaccination centres as more vaccine becomes available and, if regulators give approval for a safe way of splitting packs, care homes will receive stocks, he added.
Sir Simon said it would take until March or April for the entire at-risk population to be vaccinated.
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Despite warning against over-optimism, prime minister Boris Johnson said it was now "sure and certain" that life could start returning to normal in 2021.
Mr Johnson said a combination of community testing, vaccines and social distancing measures was still necessary.
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The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses of the jab would arrive next week, with millions more following in the coming weeks.
Sean Marett, who is chief commercial officer at BioNTech and has responsibility for distribution, said the UK was likely to receive at least five million doses of vaccine by the end of the year.
The UK had initially expected 10 million by the end of December, but Mr Marett said the amount being shipped out was being scaled back for all orders.
Earlier, Dr June Raine, head of the MHRA, said "no corners have been cut" in assessing the jab's safety.