Black Country NHS workers could get coronavirus vaccine by December

A coronavirus vaccine could become available for hospital staff in the Black Country in December.

A vaccine could be on the way
A vaccine could be on the way

Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Trust, revealed the arrival of a vaccine could be just weeks away.

She said the long-hoped-for vaccine could be made available for NHS workers before the end of the year, in what would be a major breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus.

Ms Wake told a trust board meeting: "I'm hoping for a Covid-19 vaccine to be available to healthcare providers some time in December.

"It has not been confirmed yet but I'm hoping to be able to offer a Covid-19 vaccine to our staff."

The chief executive said vaccines would likely be provided via mobile units.

Ms Wake added: "There will be Portakabins in different communities to help with that. We will be looking if vaccines can be delivered to trust sites as well."

The revelation is another promising development in the hunt for a vaccine, which the Government hopes will provide the key to returning to a normal way of life.

Vulnerable

It follows reports vaccinations could soon be on offer to the most vulnerable members of the public. There have, however, been warnings that a mass vaccination of the British public could take up to a year.

The Government has ordered millions of vaccine doses, but none have yet been declared safe to use.

The potential arrival of a vaccination would come at a crucial time, with daily cases and hospital admissions continuing to rise amid suggestions tougher restrictions targeting pubs could be on the way for parts of England.

Ms Wake confirmed Covid-19 hospital admissions had risen again at Russells Hall Hospital over the last week, with 10 patients currently being cared for.

She also said the R rate for the West Midlands was between 1.2 and 1.5. Anything above one means infections are increasing.

The rate of cases in the West Midlands is 70 per 100,000, with Dudley's figure currently at 61 per 100,000, she said.

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