Jonathan van-Tom says the first doses of the Pfizer / Bioentech vaccine will reach the UK “within hours, not days”.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the UK made the announcement on Thursday morning He praised the UK for endorsing Jab.
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Van-Tom said the UK would receive the vaccine today.
Professor Pfizer said the vaccine is “expected very soon in the UK, and I mean hours, not days”.
The UK was the first country to give the green light to the Pfizer / Bioentech vaccine, and ordered 40 million more – enough for 20 million people.
Condensed transport is required to carry the bottles, which must be stored at -70C.
Boris Johnson has warned of “enormous logistics challenges” due to the cold temperature requirements of the vaccine.
Pfizer / Bioendech Jab has been shown in clinical trials to prevent 95% of COVID cases. It also works in the elderly who may be susceptible to serious illness from the virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the 800,000 dose would come next week, while Sean Maret, chief business officer at Bioentech, said the UK was likely to receive at least five million by the end of this year.
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Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS UK, told a Downing Street press conference that since the conditions for saving the jab had been lifted, it could only be moved a few times and only on a large scale.
One box of vaccine contains 975 doses, but the Drugs and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not authorized the separation of these containers.
This makes delivery difficult for maintenance homes and quantities can be seen to go to waste.
Professor Anthony Horton, vice chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunizations, said the vaccine priority list was made flexible and could react to what was happening on the ground.
Pfizer and Bioendech have stated that their vaccine can be sent to care homes until it leaves the cold storage and travels for less than six hours before being placed in a normal refrigerator.