‘All-out-effort’ to vaccinate Sheffield population as UK approves Covid Pfizer vaccine

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Today the Government announced that the UK is the first country to clinically approve a COVID-19 vaccine for rollout among the general population.

Sheffield’s Director for Public Health Greg Fell has said that as soon as the approved Pfizer vaccine is available in large quantities it would become the primary focus of his team and the NHS to vaccinate Sheffield’s population as quickly as possible.

In his latest update Mr Fell said: "Some of my team, particularly the NHS, are working hugely hard on the operational arrangements to deliver the vaccine so that when we do have significant quantities we can go as fast as we possible can.

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Coronavirus vaccine - PACoronavirus vaccine - PA
Coronavirus vaccine - PA

"This will be an all-out effort to deliver as much vaccine as possible in the shortest space of time and the arrangements for that are being put into place now.

"My sense is, and this is a guess, it will probably take us three to six months to get a fully vaccinated population.”

Today Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the UK was the first country in the world to have a “clinically authorised vaccine” to roll out.

He told Sky News the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) would set out its priority list later on Wednesday.

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Greg Fell, Sheffield's director of public healthGreg Fell, Sheffield's director of public health
Greg Fell, Sheffield's director of public health

“This is fantastic news. The MHRA, the fiercely independent regulator, has clinically authorised the vaccine for rollout.

“The NHS stands ready to make that happen.

“So, from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country.”

This comes as Sheffield’s infection rate continues to fall, with some hoping that the area may be moved down into Tier 2 restrictions come the review of lockdown on December 16.

Mr Fell added: "We anticipate we’ll be beginning to vaccinate in earnest possibly this calendar year but certainly in early 2021, preparing to use the new tests, lateral flow tests, in defined cohorts of people who don’t have symptoms and preparing for Christmas.

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“Clearly Christmas is coming and whilst we all want to celebrate we need to be mindful that the more mixing with the more people that will lead to an increase in cases and we need to be prepared for that and to risk manage that as best we possibly can.”