NHS will start trialling 24-hour Covid vaccines within next 10 days and are dishing out 140 jabs a minute
THE NHS will start trialling 24-hour Covid vaccines within the next 10 days, it has been revealed today.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England boss, told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show hospitals are currently administering 140 jabs a minute.
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When asked if he would like to see Covid vaccinations given "all day, all night",Sir Simon said: "Absolutely, we will do that at the point that we have enough supply that it makes sense."
He added: "We will start testing 24/7 in some hospitals over the course of the next 10 days.
"But we are at the moment vaccinating at the rate of about 140 jabs a minute."
The NHS England head said he was "pretty confident" a million and half vaccinations will have been given this week by Sunday night.
The projected vaccination figures for this week are up from around a million the week before.
But Sir Simon warned hospitals in England are admitting a new coronavirus patient every 30 seconds, with a quarter of patients under 55.
He added: "Hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.
“Since Christmas Day we’ve seen another 15,000 increase in the inpatients in hospitals across England.
"That’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients."
And he insisted nobody in the NHS is being told to throw away excess vaccines.
He added: "The guidance from the chief medical officer and NHS medical director is crystal clear, that every last drop of vaccine should be used."
Speaking earlier, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the Andrew Marr Show a phased end to lockdown could begin from mid-February if 88 per cent of the most vulnerable groups are vaccinated.
Mr Raab said: "If we have succeeded in hitting those targets… we can start to think about the phase.
"I think it's fair to say it won't be a big bang. It will be done phased, possibly back through the tiered approach that we had before."
Meanwhile, all Brits over the age of 18 could have the Covid vaccine “by the end of June" with plans for five million people to receive jabs every week.
Senior Government figures are optimistic that all adults in the UK could receive the jab in time for summer.
A source told The Daily Telegraph: "All over-18s by June – yes."
But this morning, Mr Raab played down the reports and said the Government was aiming to give jabs out to all over-18s "by September."
"If we can do it faster then great but that is the road map," he told Sky News' Sophy Ridge.
More Brits have now had at least one coronavirus vaccination than have tested positive for the bug since the start of the pandemic
A total of 3,559,179 people have received their first jab as of Friday – 201,818 more than the total number of Covid cases in the UK.
A whopping 324,233 jabs were given yesterday alone – the highest number in a 24-hour period so far.
And over 32million over-50s could be vaccinated by the end of March under new Government plants to ramp up the jab roll-out, it has been reported.
The Government is said to be preparing to more than double the pace of the current programme next week to up to half a million jabs a day.
But because of manufacturing delays with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, ministers are concerned about the target of giving the jab to 14.9million by Feburary 15.
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