Portsmouth Hospital is one of the 50 hubs who will be administrating the Coronavirus Vaccination

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.

As expected, the launch of the programme with the first vaccinations started today (08/12/20) at QA Hospital.

There are 50 hubs in the first wave and it has been announced that our local hospital, Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust, will be administrating the Coronavirus Vaccination.

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-19.

NHS staff will be trying to overcome the significant challenge to vaccinate care home residents as soon as possible. GPs and other primary care staff are also being put on standby to start delivering the jab to patients in the priority groups. 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 be set up soon to administer to more people once further supplies of vaccine become available.

All people vaccinated will need a booster jab 21 days later. Current research states that a further week is required after this second jab of the vaccine until full immunity to COVID-19 is achieved. Scientists are working out if immunity starts sooner than this and will provide an update as soon as possible.

Healthwatch Portsmouth has received the following information from NHS England:

The public can really help the NHS deliver this effectively to those who need it most. Our asks are:

• We will contact you when it’s the right time to come forward, so please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine before then;

• Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments when you arrange them;

• And of course, please continue to abide by all the social distancing and hand hygiene guidance, which will still save lives.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is being used. This vaccine is shown to offer up to 95% efficacy and has been given regulatory approval by the MHRA, the official UK regulator, which has also made clear this vaccine is very safe and highly effective. We have full confidence in their expert judgement and processes.

More information can be found here.