‘I should not be front of vaccine queue’ NHS nurse recovering from Covid in urgent plea

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The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, paving the way for vaccination to start next week. The jab has been shown in studies to be 95 percent effective and works in all age groups. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers, said vaccines should first be offered to elderly people in care homes and care home workers. Next on the priority list are those aged 80 and above and frontline health workers.

But NHS nurse Leona urged the Government to rethink the priority list as she claims she should not be at the front of the queue. 

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I know a lot of people that don’t want it. I’m currently recovering from Covid.

“So I don’t feel I should be at the front of the queue.

“I think the people who really want it should be given the option before me.”

All those aged 75 and over are expected to be vaccinated next, followed by those 70 and over and clinically “extremely vulnerable” individuals, it said.

People aged 65 and over are next in line, alongside anyone aged 16 to 64 who has underlying health conditions which put them at a “higher risk of serious disease and mortality”.

Those aged 60 and over will be vaccinated next, followed by those aged 55 and over, and then those aged 50 and over.

No decisions have yet been made on priorities for under-50s.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses of the jab will arrive next week.

He said millions more doses were due in the coming weeks.

Studies on the vaccine show it has to be stored at minus 70C but is also stable at 2C to 8C for a short time, meaning it could possibly be sent to different locations.

But it is thought operational reasons may prevent care home residents getting the jab first. The Department of Health has been contacted for comment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the announcement was “fantastic” news, tweeting: “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had approved the jab after “months of rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts” from the regulator.

He said they have concluded that the vaccine has “met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.

Mr Hancock told Sky News the UK was the first country in the world to have a “clinically authorised vaccine” and it would be deployed as “quickly as it is manufactured”.

He added: “This is fantastic news.

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“The MHRA, the fiercely independent regulator, has clinically authorised the vaccine for rollout.

“The NHS stands ready to make that happen.

“So, from early next week we will start the programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 here in this country.”

Mr Hancock said until vaccines were rolled out people needed to stick to the rules, saying: “We’ve got to get from here to there and we’ve got to keep people safe in the meantime.”

There would be “three modes of delivery” of the vaccine, with hospitals, mass vaccination centres and GPs and pharmacists offering the jab to those most in need, he added.

“Fifty hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it’s approved, so that can now happen.”

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