Salford Royal NHS Trust has confirmed that it will be among the first hospitals in Greater Manchester to receive doses of the newly-approved Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
In a statement from Salford Royal NHS Trust, a spokesperson said that they “can confirm that Salford Royal is one of the NHS Trusts in the country to be nominated as a Lead Provider for the Covid-19 Vaccination programme for Greater Manchester”.
Around 10 million doses are expected to be available for use in the UK in the coming weeks for priority groups, including healthcare workers, with 800,000 doses arriving next week.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.
A list of who will receive the vaccine first will be set out later on Wednesday.
In an interview with Sky, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said:
“The jab has been shown in studies to be 95% effective and works in all age groups.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had approved the jab after “months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts” from the regulator.
He said they have concluded that the vaccine has “met its strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness”.
England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the vaccine approval is “excellent news and a step towards normality”.
He tweeted: “It will take until spring until the vulnerable population who wish to are fully vaccinated. We can’t lower our guard yet.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News the UK was the first country in the world to have a “clinically authorised vaccine” and it would be deployed as “quickly as it is manufactured”.
He added: “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.”
Mr Hancock said until vaccines were rolled out people needed to stick to the rules, saying: “We’ve got to get from here to there and we’ve got to keep people safe in the meantime.”
There would be “three modes of delivery” of the vaccine, with hospitals, mass vaccination centres and GPs and pharmacists offering the jab to those most in need, he added.
“It will be health staff first that will receive the vaccine.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester @AndyBurnhamGM explains that hospitals in Salford and Stockport will be the first sites in the area to get the Pfizer/BioNtech #COVID19 vaccine .#KayBurley https://t.co/vowMj88LRE pic.twitter.com/IIZNw272RX
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 2, 2020
“Fifty hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s approved, so that can now happen.”
He said vaccinations will start with the most elderly, people in care homes, and their carers, before coming down the age range, with NHS staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable also high on the priority list.
Nadhim Zahawi, the newly-appointed minister responsible for overseeing the vaccination rollout, tweeted: “Major step forward in the fight against Covid-19 today.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma tweeted: “The UK was the first country to sign a deal with Pfizer/BioNTech, now we will be the first to deploy their vaccine.
“To everyone involved in this breakthrough: thank you.
“In years to come, we will remember this moment as the day the UK led humanity’s charge against this disease.”