Twenty-four-hour vaccination sites will be piloted in London Lockdown before the end of January, the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said.
While the current 8 am to 8 pm vaccination times work better for the over-80s, some areas of the UK have managed to give out first jabs to the majority of this age group.
London has had a surge of cases of the Christmas period and many health officials have warned, London hospitals are running out of capacity.
Nadhim Zahawi, the minister responsible for the vaccine rollout, said his “very strong instinct” would be for workers at greater risk of catching the virus, such as teachers and police officers, to be offered a Covid jab once the nine priority groups have been vaccinated.
London Lockdown – Supply Is Limited
He said that as there is “limited supply” of the vaccine, “it needs to get into the arms of the most vulnerable” such as those who are elderly or clinically extremely vulnerable but said “millions of doses” are being delivered over the next few months.
The vaccines minister said teachers, police officers and shopworkers should be top of the next phase of the vaccine rollout list, after the four most vulnerable groups.
He said he was confident the NHS can meet the mid-February deadline to get those first groups vaccinated, and added that the government does not plan on extending the 12-week gap between getting the first and second dose of the vaccine.
People in England aged 70 and over, as well as those listed as clinically extremely vulnerable, will begin receiving offers of a coronavirus vaccine this week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the move was a “significant milestone” in the nation’s vaccination programme.
More than five million people – from priority groups three and four – will be invited to have the jab from Monday.
It comes as 10 new mass vaccination hubs open across England.