The UK has become the first country in the world to approve mass use of a Covid vaccine for people aged 16 and over.
Immunisations with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, approved by the British medicines regulator, the MHRA, could start early next week for people in some high-priority groups, with 800,000 doses arriving in the UK in the first delivery.
Nine groups of at-risk people have been prioritised to have the vaccine in the first phase, with care home residents and workers at the top and frontline health workers next.
However, logistical challenges with ultra-cold storage and transport of the jab means getting it to care homes may take a bit longer.
Prof Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said there would be “blending of the top two groups” because of technical issues with a “delicate” vaccine.
And he suggested that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is waiting for approval from the UK regulator, would be easier to roll out in care homes and would “hopefully be approved before Christmas”.