Eight hospital trusts in South East to start coronavirus vaccinations

Eight hospital trusts across the Thames Valley and the South East are among those that will become hubs to distribute the coronavirus vaccine.

The UK became the first country in the world to give the go-ahead to the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech on Wednesday, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.

Hospital trusts in the Meridian region:

  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

  • Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust

  • Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust

  • Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

  • Portsmouth Hospital University Trust

Queen Alexandra Hospital - Portsmouth Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/PA Images

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said the jab has to be stored at such low temperatures that it can only be moved a few times.

He told a Downing Street briefing that the first people to receive the jab from 50 hospital hubs next week would be the over-80s, care home staff and others identified by the JCVI who may already have a hospital appointment.

GP practices will then operate local vaccination centres as more vaccine becomes available and, if regulators give approval for a safe way of splitting packs, care homes will receive stocks, he added.

Sir Simon said it would take until March or April for the entire at-risk population to be vaccinated.