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The first doses of the Covid vaccine have now arrived in hospitals in England.
A total of 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 jab have been secured by the UK, enough to treat 20 million people in the coming months, and the first doses have now arrived.
The first pictures of the vaccine arriving in an NHS hospital, released today, show a pharmacy technician from Croydon Health Services taking delivery at Croydon University Hospital of the first batch to be delivered to the area.
In the photos, nurses at the Royal Free Hospital, London, are also seen simulating the administration of the Pfizer vaccine to support staff training ahead of the rollout.
The doses will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs from Tuesday – with people aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk the first to receive the jab.
Hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine arrived in the UK on Friday on refrigerated trucks from Belgium.
Just hours after Prime Minister announced a mass roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine which he said will "help us reclaim our lives", trucks were spotted loaded with 800,000 doses of the Pfizer jab headed for the UK
From there they were taken to specialist refrigerated storage facilities, at undisclosed locations, before finally being shipped to the 50 hospitals taking part in stage one of the rollout.
There are 50 hubs in the first wave of the vaccination programme in England, with more hospitals starting to vaccinate over the coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up.
The distribution of the vaccine across the UK is being undertaken by Public Health England and the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through systems specially adapted from those used for the national immunisation programmes.
GP surgeries in England have been told to start staffing COVID-19 vaccination centres by 14 December.
On Sunday the UK's chief medicine regulator said there was"no doubt" that the Covid vaccine approved in the UK is safe.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, said there “should be no doubt whatever that this is a very safe and highly effective vaccine”.
The Government said a further 231 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Sunday, bringing the UK total to 61,245.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,723,242.
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