The 53 hospitals across the UK that are already set up and ready to receive the coronavirus vaccine when it starts rolling out next week have been revealed.
On Wednesday, the UK became the first country in the world to give the go-ahead to the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.
Health secretary Matt Hancock revealed how the roll-out will proceed, with people over 80 and care home staff the first to receive it.
Scroll down to see the full list of hospitals ready to receive the vaccine
He said: "Fifty hospitals across the country are already set up and waiting to receive the vaccine as soon as it's approved, so that can now happen.
"Also vaccination centres, which will be big centres where people can go to get vaccinated. They are being set up now.
"There will also be a community rollout, including GPs and pharmacists.”
At a Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, Boris Johnson welcomed the news of the vaccine – but acknowledged the “immense logistical challenges” of its rollout.
The prime minister said: “It will inevitably take some months before all the most vulnerable are protected – long, cold months.
“So it’s all the more vital that as we celebrate this scientific achievement we are not carried away with over-optimism or fall into the naive belief that the struggle is over.”
Watch: Boris Johnson hails Pfizer’s COVID vaccine
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said it would take until March or April for the entire at-risk population to be vaccinated.
Later in the briefing, he insisted the NHS was “raring to go” to vaccinate people in care homes, hopefully this month.
“Just as soon as we have the regulatory sign-off that we can do that, that we can get the jabs to the care homes so that the GPs and the nurses can arrive and give the care home residents that COVID vaccination, we will do that,” he said.
Despite warning against over-optimism, Johnson said it was now “sure and certain” that life could start returning to normal in 2021.
A combination of community testing, vaccines and social distancing measures was still necessary, he said.
“As we do all this we are no longer resting on the mere hope that we can return to normal next year, in the spring, but rather the sure and certain knowledge that we will succeed and together reclaim our lives and all the things about our lives that we love,” he said.
The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said 800,000 doses of the jab would arrive next week, with millions more following in the coming weeks.
Ministers have faced criticism for claiming the swift approval of the vaccine was down to Brexit.
Jacob Rees-Mogg was accused of spreading “fake news” after tweeting the UK’s departure from the EU was behind the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ability to give the jab the green light.
The hospitals that will be first to receive the vaccine:
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals
Cambridge University Hospitals
Chesterfield Royal Hospital
Countess of Chester Hospital
Croydon University Hospital
Dartford and Gravesham Hospitals
Dorset County Hospitals
East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals
East Kent Hospitals
East Suffolk and North Essex Hospitals
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospitals
Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust
James Paget University Hospitals
Kings College Hospital
Princess Royal University Hospital, Kings
Lancashire Teaching Hospital
Leeds Teaching Hospital
Leicester Partnership NHS Trust
Liverpool University Hospitals
Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Mid and South Essex Hospitals
Milton Keynes University Hospital
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Northampton General Hospital
North Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
North West Anglia Foundation Trust
Nottingham University Hospitals
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Portsmouth Hospital University
Royal Cornwall Hospitals
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
Sherwood Forest Hospitals
Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
St George's University Hospitals
The Newcastle Upon Type Hospitals
University College Hospitals
University Hospitals Birmingham
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
University Hospitals Derby Burton
University Hospitals of North Midlands
University Hospitals Plymouth
United Lincolnshire Hospitals
West Hertfordshire Hospitals
Wirral University Teaching Hospital
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals
Yeovil District Hospital
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