A council building in Leicestershire has been identified as a mass vaccination site, with the UK gearing up to roll out widespread coronavirus jabs if safety regulators give the go-ahead.
Charnwood Borough Council has told Sky News that an area of its offices will be handed over to Ministry of Defence teams by mid-December “for at least nine months”.
Council leader Jonathan Morgan said the building would be used as a COVID-19 vaccination site for “around 185,000 people in the area”.
He said: “We feel very excited to be at the forefront of this, and as soon as a vaccine is ready, this site will be ready to go.”
Charnwood Borough Council covers the town of Loughborough, including the university.
It comes as Derby City Council confirmed talks were under way to use Derby Arena as a temporary facility to help administer vaccines.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told Sky News he hopes a mass vaccination programme for COVID-19 will get under way “within a matter of weeks”.
A vaccine has yet to receive official approval, but two US-led treatments have been found to be more than 90% effective in protecting people from coronavirus following large-scale phase three trials.
The makers, Pfizer and Moderna, have reported overall efficacies of 95% and 94.5% respectively.
Pfizer has now said it was asking US regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine, which it has developed with its German partner BioNTech. The UK has ordered 40 million doses – enough to treat 20 million people.
Moderna expects to also seek US emergency authorisation within weeks. The UK has ordered five million doses of the jab by spring next year.
The phase one and phase two results suggest that one of the groups most at risk of death or serious illness from COVID-19 may be able to build immunity, according to data published in The Lancet medical journal.
The UK government has ordered more than 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and will hope the final results prove similarly promising to those of Pfizer and Moderna.