Sheffield hospitals one of 50 hubs to start giving vaccine jabs to patients next week
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been named as one of the 53 trusts in England that will be the first to store, distribute and administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which was formally approved by the Government yesterday.
The NHS released a list of the 53 trusts, which includes Sheffield and Leeds hospitals in Yorkshire, as well as Chesterfield Royal and Sherwood Forest hospitals nearby.
The hospitals chosen were picked because they are equipped with a special refrigerator, which is capable of storing the vaccine at the required -70C temperature.
Most vaccines do not require this, and can be stored at around 4C.
The hospitals chosen as ‘vaccine hubs’ will be responsible for storing the vaccine in these refrigerators and offering jabs to people in the local area. They will also handle the distribution of the vaccine to other regions.
A number of the trusts chosen, including Sheffield, are among the hospitals in the country currently treating the most patients with COVID-19.
In the latest update, the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said that while there are still 273 patients in the city’s hospitals with Covid-19, including 22 in intensive care, that figure has remained ‘broadly stable’ rather than continuing to rise.
A spokesperson added that there has been a slight drop in the number of daily admissions.
Yesterday (December 2) the Government announced that the UK was the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine.
Sheffield’s Director of Public Health Greg Fell said that he expects the first people to be vaccinated before Christmas, however it would be between ‘three and six months’ before it was rolled out to everybody.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the NHS would now embark on the the “biggest programme of mass vaccination in the history of the UK” from next week.
He said: “It will inevitably take some months before all the most vulnerable are protected – long, cold months.
“So it’s all the more vital that as we celebrate this scientific achievement we are not carried away with over-optimism or fall into the naive belief that the struggle is over."