Exclusive A new DES is set to be announced imminently for practices and PCNs to start administering a Covid vaccine from the beginning of December, Pulse understands.
Practices and PCNs will be asked to prepare to give the vaccine to over-85s and front line workers from the start of December, numerous sources have confirmed to Pulse.
There are currently two vaccines that are being prepared, with one requiring two shots and needing to be kept at minus 70 degrees.
Alongside GPs and PCNs, there will be teams delivering it to care homes, and at-scale delivery centres.
Pulse understands there will be sufficient resources allocated to practices via the DES.
A number of sources have confirmed to Pulse that an announcement around the DES is imminent, potentially by next week.
Pulse reported last month that the NHS was looking to start the rollout of the vaccine from December, with sources close to the issue putting the chances at ’50/50′.
It has now been confirmed to Pulse by numerous sources that GPs and the whole of the NHS are going to be put on standby to start vaccinating over-85s and frontline workers from early December.
It remains unclear exactly which vaccines will be administered, but Pfizer’s vaccine in development has to be kept at minus 70 degrees, while the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was shown to be more effective when administered in two doses.
There is also no indication as to the efficacy of any vaccine, and the chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance has been keen to play down the chances of an effective vaccine.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘While there are no certainties in the development, production, and timing of new vaccines, there is a possibility a Covid-19 vaccine could be available in the UK in the first part of 2021.
‘It will only be rolled out once proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved by medicines regulator the MHRA.
‘Once approved, the NHS stands ready to begin the vaccination programme to those most at risk, before being rolled out more widely.’