Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine rolled out across West Country

Credit: AP

Hospitals across the West Country will start vaccinating people against Covid-19 today as the NHS becomes the first health service in the world to begin rolling it out.

Patients who are over the age of 80 will be the first to get the Pfizer vaccine, with care home staff and NHS workers following in the coming weeks.

Derriford Hospital in Plymouth will be one of the first sites to start administering the jabs for both patients and staff.

It will be given to those who are already attending hospital as outpatients or those who are leaving following a hospital stay.

After that, other over-80s will be contacted and invited in, and then care home staff will be able to book appointments.

On Wednesday 9 December, other hospitals in Truro, Yeovil and Dorset will also begin to give out the jabs.

Speaking just hours before the vaccine rollout begins, NHS England CEO Sir Simon Stevens said today marked “a decisive turning point in the battle” against the virus.

But health officials warned the rollout would be a “marathon not a sprint” and urged people over 80 not to be worried if they are not called for the Covid-19 vaccine this month as the vast majority will have to wait until the new year to receive the jab.

Sir Simon said there is “every prospect” that by next spring the high-risk vulnerable groups, as identified by the medical experts, will all have been vaccinated, but that "in the meantime, we’re going to have to continue to be very careful".

People in Plymouth have mixed views about the vaccine:

A University of Bristol Professor Adam Finn, who has been part of the panel advising the Government on the vaccine said: "This is unprecedentedly fast, although it’s been done not by failing to do the things that we normally do but just by doing everything by working around the clock and working in parallel and working together.

“So I think the information we’ve got now is pretty much what we have whenever a new vaccine arrives.”

ITV News West Country presenter Jonty Messer spoke with Adam Finn to answer important questions about the vaccine roll-out.

You can watch the whole interview and read about it here.