Ipswich Hospital begins coronavirus vaccine rollout
- Credit: ESNEFT
Staff at Ipswich Hospital have begun administering the coronavirus vaccine - with health chiefs praising the "amazing amount of hard work" that made it happen.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived at the hospital on the same day the national rollout of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab.
Staff at the hospital began receiving the vaccine this morning, with orthopaedic practitioner Jamie Roberts being the first person to be vaccinated at the Heath Road site.
High-risk people in Ipswich and east Suffolk will begin receiving the vaccine in the coming days, the hospital trust said.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs both Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, had already began administering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at Colchester Hospital – which are continuing this week.
Until now, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had only been available in Suffolk via GP surgeries, such as the Two Rivers Medical Centre nearby to Ipswich Hospital.
Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge at temperatures between 2C to 8C. The other vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature of around -70C and requires specialist storage equipment.
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The UK has secured 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine.
ESNEFT chief executive Nick Hulme said in a tweet: "An amazing amount of hard work from so many teams to make this happen. Thank you."
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, described the rollout of the jab as “another turning point in our way out of this pandemic” and said the government aims to administer two million vaccines a week in the future.