COVID-19 Latest Information and Updates

1 February 2021

a) Vaccine Updates

Optimising the COVID-19 vaccination programme for maximum short-term impact, from JCVI

Updated 26 January 2021  - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


·        There has been a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK in December 2020

·        Two vaccines now have MHRA Regulation 174 authorisation (Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca)

·        Rapid delivery of the vaccines is required to protect those most vulnerable

·        Short-term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is calculated at around 90%

·        Short-term vaccine efficacy from the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is calculated at around 70%, with high protection against severe disease

·        Given the high level of protection afforded by the first dose, models suggest that initially vaccinating a greater number of people with a single dose will prevent more deaths and hospitalisations than vaccinating a smaller number of people with 2 doses

·        The second dose is still important to provide longer lasting protection and is expected to be as or more effective when delivered at an interval of 12 weeks from the first dose


Good communication with patients 21 January 2021, The third phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 letter explains trusts should ensure that “every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.” Coronavirus » Third phase of NHS response to COVID-19 (england.nhs.uk)


b) First people to receive Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 

The first people received the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Monday 4th January, as the NHS rapidly expands COVID-19 vaccination programmes across the UK.

The following hospitals in England will start delivering the vaccine ahead of the rollout to hundreds of GP-led services later in the week:

Royal Free Hospital London NHS Foundation Trust

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust


c) COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a

The NHS Green Book has the latest information on vaccines and vaccination procedures, for vaccine preventable infectious diseases in the UK. An update to the book now features Chapter 14a which includes information on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines, the dosage and schedule for the UK and recommendations for the use of the vaccine



d) COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners

This document about the COVID-19 vaccination programme is intended for healthcare staff involved in delivering the programme. It includes detailed information on the background of the programme, the vaccines (as they become available), vaccine recommendations and eligibility, contraindications and precautions and vaccine administration issues

This document will be updated regularly as more information becomes available



e) New SARS-CoV-2 variant

Information on the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The new variant transmits more easily than the previous one but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality