The NHS has been told to prepare for mass Covid vaccinations from 1 December

The NHS has been told to prepare for a major coronavirus vaccination programme to begin on 1 December.

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Under plans which will see medical and nursing students as well as retired medics brought in to help, the government wants to reach a vaccination capacity of one million per week.

How will mass vaccinations work?

According to plans, as many as 1,500 GP practices and drive through vaccination centres will open for 12 hours per day, seven days per week, with the capacity to deliver 1,000 jabs per week.

GPs will be paid £12.58 for each vaccine dose they or a practice nurse administers, and many are expecting the workload from the vaccination programme to force them to scale back other treatments.

Who can get the vaccine?

The government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is tasked with deciding which groups can get the vaccine first, based on who is most vulnerable.

According to their interim guidance, the first two groups to be vaccinated will be care home residents and staff, then people over 80, as well as health and social care workers.

Once those groups have been vaccinated, the rest of the priority list is as follows:

  • All those 75 years of age and older
  • All those 70 years of age and older
  • All those 55 years of age and older
  • High risk adults under 65 years of age
  • Moderate risk adults under 65 years of age
  • All those 60 years of age and older
  • All those 55 years of age and over
  • Rest of the population

Which vaccine will be used?

The rollout plan comes after the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNtech was found to be 90 per cent effective, following a trial of more than 43,000 people.

The government has secured 40 million doses of the vaccine - enough for 20 million people, as two doses are needed for the first vaccine.

The first 10 million doses are likely to be available next month, pending regulatory approval, which will provide approximately enough doses to almost fully cover the first two groups in the JCVI priority list.

There are as many as 11 potential vaccines which are all in the final stages of testing, with results from the Astra Zeneca and Oxford University trial likely to be released in the next week or so.