Two million Brits to receive Oxford jab from January 4 as government sets up mass vaccination centres in sports grounds

TWO million Brits will begin receiving the Oxford Covid jab from January 4 with mass vaccination centres set in sports grounds, it was reported.

The government is waiting for regulators to give the jab the green light, which could happen as early as Monday.

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Scientists have been working around the clock since February with trials beginning in April and have managed to achieve in 10 months what usually takes years.

Already the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has begun being rolled out.

But because it has to be stored at -70C it can’t be distributed as quickly as the Oxford jab, which can be kept at 2C in a regular fridge.

The British government has ordered more than 100 million doses of thevaccine, which is being developed by the University of Oxford with drug company AstraZeneca.

In anticipation mass vaccination centres at sports stadia and conference venues are primed to launch in the second week of January, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

“We are deploying as fast as we get the stuff in,” a Whitehall insider said. 

“The constraint is supply, not deployment. The protocol around Pfizer is really difficult, but with AstraZeneca it’s much easier, it’s like the flu vaccine.” 

Patients will need two jabs, a month apart, and will be able to get their first at pop-up sites including football stadiums and drive-through centres.

London’s Nightingale hospital, Epsom racecourse in Surrey, Bristol’s Ashton Gate football stadium and the Robertson House conference facility in Stevenage will serve the south of England.

Manchester Tennis and Football Centre, the Centre for Life science park in Newcastle and Leicester racecourse are the mass vaccine sites for the North and the Midlands 

The Oxford jab is also due to be administered alongside the Pfizer jab at 83 hospital hubs and 400 GPs which are already operational, with a further 200 GPs due to be online by this weekend.

Scientists at Oxford University spent months working on the vaccine.

And ministers have given £88million since March to help accelerate the project.

The jabs will be manufactured in Oxford and Newcastle with 100 million doses ordered by the Government.

So far priority for the vaccine has been given to health and social care workers, care home residents and staff, and over-80s.

Another vaccine, Moderna, is also seeking approval from UK regulators.

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