COVID-19 vaccination hubs could be set up in Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot before Christmas, a health official announced.

Following the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at Wexham Park Hospital, members of the health and wellbeing board were told yesterday (December 8) the Royal Borough is “on the way” to securing vaccination centres.

Doctor Huw Thomas, who is the Clinical Commissioning Group locality lead for the Royal Borough, told councillors hubs could be in Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot – which will likely be in Bracknell – to meet their patients’ needs.

He said: “We are well on the way of securing those centres and there’s a chance that we might well be able to start immunising this side of Christmas. If not, it will be very early in the New Year.

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“The biggest limiting factor is the amount of vaccine that we will receive.

“They [the vaccine] come in packs of 975 and we’re likely to get that sort of number per town initially and then we’ll be following the guidelines with the over-80s as top priority.”

The lead member for health, councillor Stuart Carroll (Conservative: Boyn Hill) added the Pfizer/BioNTech jab does come with “unique and bespoke” requirements of being stored at -70C where it would make the implementation of the programme “somewhat challenging” – but not “impossible”.

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Cllr Carroll added the programme should get easier once more vaccines like the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine are approved for mass use.

The UK became the first country in the world to start administrating the first wave of vaccines – which were rolled out to about 70 hospitals.

The Government ordered and pre-ordered millions of doses as part of the biggest vaccination programme with the aim of fighting back against the coronavirus and protecting the most vulnerable.