The NHS has said it is training tens of thousands of former NHS staff but that hospital staff, GPs and nurses were already involved in the roll-out. St John Ambulance is offering up 30,000 volunteers, including 10,000 to administer the vaccine and 20,000 in support roles.
More than 730 vaccination sites across the UK are already up and running, including major hospitals, GP hubs and village halls, with another 180 “GP-led services” and 100 more hospital sites due to come online this week.
In all, there will be about 1,000 sites able to deliver the vaccine by the end of this week, and Mr Johnson said on Sunday that 540 GP sites and 101 hospitals were being supplied with the initial batch of 530,000 Oxford doses.
The first vaccinations will be carried out in six hospitals over the first few days as a trial run. Tesco has also offered its distribution arm to help with the Oxford vaccine, while Boots is opening three vaccination sites, in Halifax, Huddersfield and Gloucester with a promise of more on the way.
Best Food Logistics, a subsidiary of Tesco which is a food delivery and supply chain specialist, has offered its support, which could include the use of its refrigerated lorries and warehouses to move the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which can be stored in a fridge. Covid restrictions, which have shut down many pubs and restaurants, may have opened up fridge capacity which could be diverted to the vaccine programme.