Covid: Inside a vaccination clinic where jabs are due to start next week

  • Video Report by ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke

These pictures show inside one of the first vaccination clinics in the UK where jabs are expected to begin as soon as next week.

University Hospital Coventry, where the clinic is situated, had to be specially adapted due to the logistical problems of distributing the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The UK regulator approved the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday and vaccinations are expected to start on Tuesday - a total of 53 hospitals will start administering the vaccine.

Mark Easter, Director of Pharmacy, said the hospital had to install a new freezer for the vaccine, as it has to be stored at minus 70C.

He said once it is removed from storage all 975 doses per batch have to be thawed for three hours.

After that, all 975 doses have to be transported to a ward, where it is again refrigerated, before being put into a syringe for injection.

Each step in the process lowers the shelf life of the vaccine so a quick and smooth procedure is vital.

Intensive Care Nurse Andy Jones is expected to be one of the first to receive the vaccine.

He said it would be a "huge benefit for us and our patient group".

The hospital is planning on providing their at-risk medical staff, local care home staff and vulnerable patients the vaccine first.

Because of the difficulty with storing the vaccine injections will only be carried out in the hospital.

A vaccine administration station. Credit: ITV

Elderly residents in care homes, who were at the top of the priority list, will no longer be the first to receive the jabs due to difficulties in storing and transporting the vaccine.

Pfizer and BioNTech have said the jab can be sent to care homes, as long as the vaccine travels for no more than six hours after it leaves cold storage and is then put in a normal fridge at 2C to 8C.

Dr Danielle McSeveney told ITV News it looks like the Pfizer vaccine will be "unworkable" for administering in care homes.

She said: "Hopefully it won't be too long before we're having a different conversation because we've got the next one coming."

Two nurses demonstrating the vaccination process

Some 800,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to be in the UK by the end of next week out of a total 40 million the government has ordered.

The 40 million doses will be enough to innoculate 20 million people as two separate injections three weeks apart are needed.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers, has said care home residents and staff should be prioritised for the jab, followed by those aged 80 and above and frontline health workers, then younger age groups and the clinically vulnerable.