Stepping Hill Hospital among 50 others to start vaccinations

Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport is among 50 in England to begin vaccinating people against Covid-19 this week.

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.

Vaccinations began on Tuesday - with 90-year-old Coventry grandmother Margaret Keenan being the first in the world to receive it.

The Government has secured 800,000 doses to begin with - with enough doses to vaccinate 20 million people on order however the majority are not expected to become available until next year.

Stepping Hill Hospital is among 50 in England to begin vaccinating people against Covid-19 this week

A spokesman for NHS England said hospitals chosen as ‘hospital hubs’ for the vaccination were identified as such because they met “very specific storage and security measures”.

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Rollout of the jab has been complicated as it has to be stored at -70C and it comes in packs of 975 doses which cannot yet be split into smaller batches.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital - where many patients in the south east of the borough receive care - has also been named on the list of 50 hospital hubs.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said hospitals in England had identified appropriate places on their estate where they could give the vaccinations.

He said hospitals would aim to administer the jab away from clinical areas where there could be a risk of Covid-19 infection - such as close to a car park.

Staff will be working to make sure the vaccinations are delivered in a socially-distanced way - with timed slots to minimise queuing.

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