Military personnel have been ordered to throw up makeshift vaccine sites at 10 locations. The Nightingale temporary hospital at the London ExCel centre and Epsom race course are among those being transformed, The Telegraph reports.
It is hoped the Pfizer produced vaccine will receive regulatory approval by the weekend.
One major London hospital trust has reportedly called for volunteers to begin administering the vaccine from 7am on Monday.
Speaking to The Telegraph a Government source said: “All of these preparations are being made in advance of any decision about any vaccine being approved by the independent regulator.
“If one vaccine is found to be safe and effective, we can move ahead quickly with distribution – because vaccinating millions of people is a significant logistical challenge.”
Covid vaccine to be distributed by weekend as urgent preparations start – NHS on alert
“If one vaccine is found to be safe and effective we can move ahead quickly with distribution”
The NHS will be leading the vaccination programme but has requested support from the Ministry of Defence under the “military aid to the civil authorities” provision.
Ten major sites across the country will reportedly be turned into ‘vaccine hubs’ whilst 1,000 smaller sites, such as GP’s surgeries, will also be used to distribute the vaccine.
Pharmacies, council owned buildings and sports centres may also be deployed for this purpose.
The Pfizer vaccine must be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it can begin being used.
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The military will help with distributing the vaccine
However the vaccine is one of the more complex ones to distribute, as it must be stored at very low temperatures and can only be moved four times before being administered.
For this reason it is expected health workers will be the first to be vaccinated with the procedure taking place in hospitals.
Healthcare workers based at Imperial College NHS Trust could receive the vaccine over an intense three day period.
In an email to its employees the hospital said: “We’ll be running vaccination clinics for three days from when we receive the vaccine.
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“In the meantime we must continue to suppress the virus”
In total the UK has reported over 59,000 Covid deaths
“As we are not yet sure when that will be, we are looking for volunteers to staff the clinics to deliver the first dose from 7am-8pm, Monday December 7 through to Sunday December 13.
“We will be so grateful for any time you can give.”
According to Matt Hancock the UK has more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita than any other country in the world.
The health secretary tweeted: “We’ve secured 355 million coronavirus vaccine doses, more per capita than any other country.
“If they pass the stringent safety tests, we will roll them out across the UK.
“In the meantime, we must continue to suppress the virus, protecting the economy, education & our NHS.”
In total Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Testing has shown it to be 95 percent effective against coronavirus.
Matt Hancock said the UK has more Covid vaccines per capita than any other country
However once vaccinated patients will need to be monitored for 15 minutes to ensure there are no side effects.
The Government is hoping the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is both cheaper and easier to administer than its Pfizer counterpart, will also end up receiving regulatory approval.
In total the UK has reported over 59,000 coronavirus deaths and 1.64 million cases.
Additional reporting by Laura O’Callaghan