A recruitment drive has been launched to find people to administer Covid-19 vaccinations across Devon.
With clinical trials progressing well, the NHS across Devon is preparing extensively to be ready to deliver vaccines as soon as they become available.
Parliament recently changed the law to allow a wider group of people to undertake training to deliver vaccines, including many allied health professionals, pharmacy and dental professionals, and healthcare scientists – as well as others with first aid qualifications who can complete appropriate training.
However, people who don’t have experience of vaccinating can still apply if they are willing to be trained to help support the vital next phase in the health service’s Covid-19 response.
There will be a range of paid roles offered on a flexible basis, including outside of usual working hours. Important non-clinical supporting roles will also be available. In all roles, appropriate training, supervision and PPE will be provided to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and patients.
Anyone who is interested in applying is asked is asked to contact the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital by emailing rde-tr.DevonCovidVaccination@nhs.net and the team will be in touch shortly to explain the next steps.
Yesterday, Devon Live reported the coronavirus vaccine roll-out could start this Wednesday with the first injections given this week in NHS hospitals, according to reports.
Hospital trusts are reported to have been told to prepare to start injecting the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine in two days.
According to The Mirror and The Telegraph the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will approve the vaccine for use this week and the first batch will be in use on December 2.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has been advising hospitals to be ready for the vaccine ahead of Christmas.
The 95 per cent effective Pfizer vaccine needs two doses to work – taken three weeks apart.
After taking the second injection people should be effectively immune from the coronavirus 14 days later.
According to an interim list from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, care home residents and staff should be given the first doses followed by anyone aged 80 and over, care workers and NHS staff.
But the Pfizer vaccine is likely to go to NHS staff first because it is so difficult to store and transport.
The vaccine must be stored at below -70C and cannot be moved more than four times.
If approved by MHRA, the vaccine’s production plant in Belgium will move it to storage hubs in Britain and then it will be moved on to hospitals.
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Prof Peter Openshaw of Imperial College, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, said on Sunday that a coronavirus vaccine could be available “as early as next week”.
Pfizer said it would not release any doses until approval had been given.
On Saturday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he has appointed Tory minister Nadhim Zahawi to oversee the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine.