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COVID-19 vaccine is being given to the elderly, carers and hospital staff in the UK from today

The COVID-19 vaccine is being given to the elderly, carers and hospital staff in the UK from today. Vaccinations will be held at dozens of hospitals from Tuesday. People aged 80 and older, care home workers, and NHS workers who are at higher risk will be first to get the vaccine. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said many of these groups would not receive it until early next year.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. 20 million people need to be given two doses each. There are 800,000 doses in the first phase, meaning 400,000 people will be vaccinated initially. Since vaccines need to be stored at -70C, there may be some difficulties in providing Pfizer Jabs to home care workers.

Northern Ireland receives 25,000 doses. The vaccine is distributed throughout the UK through systems specifically adopted for national immunisation programs. The vaccine is distributed by Public Health England and the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Vaccinations will begin in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from today. The Scottish Government has so far received 65,000 doses of the Pfizer jab.

A further 189 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19. The UK government confirmed the death toll at 61,434.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said the launch of the vaccine was a turning point in the UK’s fight against the virus.

“Tomorrow is the beginning of the biggest vaccination campaign in our history, building on successes from previous campaigns against conditions: diseases like polio, meningitis, and tuberculosis,” he said. Mr. Stevens said he’s confident that care home staff will be able to receive immunizations before Christmas. “Hospitals, and then GPs and pharmacists as more vaccine becomes available, are going to be vaccinating at least until next spring”, he added.

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