THE Isle of Wight will not have one of the first Covid vaccination hubs in the country — meaning Islanders may have to wait a bit longer for the groundbreaking vaccine.
Despite the Island’s MP, Bob Seely’s, believing the Island would be a priority area for the Covid vaccine, a list of NHS Trusts across the country has been published of hubs which will receive the first doses.
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is not on the list — with the nearest to the Island being Portsmouth Hospital University Trust.
Speaking at the Downing Street briefing last night, Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, set out the details of who, when and how the vaccine would be rolled out in ‘the biggest vaccination campaign in history’ with the bulk of the vaccines delivered from January to April.
He said with the vaccines having to be so carefully controlled, being stored at -70°C and coming in packs of 975 doses, they cannot at this point be distributed to individual GPs and pharmacies.
The phasing of deliveries, Sir Simon said, will see more than 50 hospital hubs in England start to offer the vaccines to those at the top of the priority list from next week.
This will be followed in subsequent weeks with GPs coming together in local areas to provide vaccination centres, asking people to come in for the vaccine on an invitation-only basis.
If the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency gives its approval to split the 975-dose packs then it would be possible to distribute the vaccines further to GP surgeries and pharmacies — which could mean some Islanders could get their first dose of the vaccination before the end of the year.
A letter to NHS Trust chief executives, sent at the end of November by those running the vaccination deployment programmes, has said if a trust is not a vaccination hub, a plan must cover how you will work with the nearest hub to vaccinate its workforce and how it would deliver the vaccine within the trust when it becomes possible.
Recommendations have been made by the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on those who are of highest risk and should be vaccinated first, starting with those over 80, those in cares homes and some frontline care staff.