Tuesday , May 11 2021

The coronavirus vaccine is likely to have only a “small effect” on the number of hospitals this winter



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The coronavirus vaccine will have only a “small effect” on the number of hospitals in the winter, Britain’s chief medical staff warned.

Festive gatherings are likely to place an additional burden on health services, waiting a few difficult months,

The group – which includes English teacher Chris Witty – said. They also warned that they did not expect the virus to “disappear” even after the vaccination was completed.

It happens when preparations continue to introduce the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine as early as Tuesday, which has been described as “one of the biggest challenges the NHS has ever faced”.

GPs in England have also been told they are ready to start using Covid-19 vaccination centers by 14 December.

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In a letter to colleagues, four key medical staff said the winter would be “particularly difficult” for the health department because of the coronavirus.

“While the very welcome news about vaccines means we can look at 2021 with greater optimism, the introduction of vaccines will have little effect on reducing the number of people coming to health care with Covid over the next three months,” they said. said.

“General population behavior and self – discipline during blockades and other restrictions have helped to reduce the peak, and the number of hospitals in most of the four countries will fall in the coming weeks, but not everywhere.

“The social turmoil that is happening around Christmas may well put additional pressure on hospitals and general medicine in the New Year, and we need to be prepared for that.

Letter signed by Professor Chris Whitie, Chief Medical Professor of England; from Scotland, Dr Gregory Smith; from Wales, Dr Frank Atherton; and Northern Ireland doctor Michael Macbright said they did not expect the virus to “disappear” even after vaccination was completed.

The first blows will be made on Tuesday in each of the British nations. In Northern Ireland, it will be given at a mass vaccination center at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, while in Wales, the NHS and social services will receive the first coronavirus vaccine. from the country.

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The first vaccinations will also take place in Scotland next week, while the injections will be given in hospitals in England.

Meanwhile, in a letter sent through England’s primary care networks, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced that vaccination centers run by GPs would start administering doses from 14 December.

The letter said the centers would be set up with the necessary computer equipment and a refrigerator, and staff would receive training to make sure they were ready to deliver 975 doses of the vaccine to priority patients within three and a half days. childbirth.

People aged 80 and over will be the first to receive the vaccine at these centers, provided that other “clinical or non-clinical” risk factors are taken into account.

There are still problems with providing access to the clamp for elderly nursing home residents, who have been recommended as a top priority, due to difficulties in storing and transporting the Pfizer / BioNTech version due to cold temperatures. – minus 70 ° C – limit the frequency. it can be moved.

NHS England has not yet committed to setting a deadline for the vaccine to be distributed in nursing homes in England, but Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, told the BBC she thought the vaccine would be introduced. to nursing homes “within the next two weeks”.

In total, approximately 40 million doses of Pfizer are vaccinated – enough to deliver 20 million people, with 21 injections given 21 days apart.

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