Patients and NHS staff at Leicester General Hospital will begin getting vaccinations on Saturday.
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien announced the news on Twitter this evening, adding that hospital employees and “some hospital patients” would get the jab first, followed by members of the public later this month.
He said: “It has been confirmed that Leicester General will begin vaccinations this Saturday for NHS staff and some hospital patients.
“Vaccinations for people in the wider community outside of hospitals will start the week after next in Leicestershire, along with the rest of the country.
“I will share further details as soon as I receive them for the wider rollout plans, but as per previous update on this – please wait to be contacted by your GP for details of your own vaccination.”
The first ever coronavirus vaccinations began earlier this week, with the first in Coventry on Tuesday.
Speaking about the rollout of the vacccine, Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England, said: “Having witnessed the excitement and significance of the first jab, it is extremely important and encouraging that more hospitals in every region of England are joining the mass mobilisation of the NHS to get people vaccinated.
“The vaccination programme is a turning point for the country, and rightly NHS staff are prioritising those most at risk of the virus, with the programme expanding over the coming months, so when the time comes for you to get your jab, the NHS will let you know and I strongly encourage you to accept the invite.”
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More than 63,000 people in Britain have died from Covid-19 this year, making the UK the fifth-worst-hit country in the world.
The number includes 649 people in Leicester’s hospitals. The latest Leicester Covid-19 deaths included one person in their 30s.
While the NHS prepares rapidly for the massive operation to vaccinate people – starting with older members of the public – Leicester City Council is urging people not to be put off by anti-vaxxers spreading rumours on social media.
Yesterday the city’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne addressed concerns about uncertainty over the vaccine and its safety while assuring people of the need and value of getting it.
He said: “I recognise that people are concerned about the speed of the development of the vaccine but in simple terms I would put it like this – you have to recognise that every vaccine organisation across the world has been working on a single problem.”