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Pictured: Inside one of the UK's first mass COVID vaccination centres

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
COVID-19 vaccinations taking place at a new NHS walk-in facility in York (swns)
COVID-19 vaccinations take place at a new NHS walk-in facility in York. (SWNS)

This is the first look inside a new NHS COVID-19 vaccination centre as the UK ramps up rollout of coronavirus jabs.

These photos show people receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a centre in York on Tuesday.

Elderly members of the public can be seen sanitising their hands as they wait in a socially distanced queue for their turn to receive a jab from NHS staff.

With plastic green screens splitting the centre into sections, patients sit in bubbles at a safe distance from other people as they wait for their turn to receive the injection.

Watch: Couple receive COVID-19 vaccination

Elderly people are first to receive the vaccine (swns)
Elderly people are among the first to receive the vaccine. (SWNS)

An elderly woman appears to be smiling underneath her mask as she becomes one of the first members of the public to get the vaccine.

The vaccines have so far been rolled out to over half a million people in the UK but officials are under pressure to get them out quickly after a more infectious variant of the virus was discovered.

More than 500,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK so far. (SWNS)
More than 500,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK so far. (SWNS)
Officials are under pressure to get people vaccinated quicker after a new COVID variant was found (swns)
Officials are under pressure to get people vaccinated more quickly after a new variant of coronavirus was found. (SWNS)

Ugur Sahin, chief executive of Germany's BioNTech, said he needs another two weeks to know for sure if his jab can stop the mutant variant but that it should provide immunity against it.

"Scientifically it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine can also deal with this virus variant," he said.

"The vaccine contains more than 1,270 amino acids, and only nine of them are changed [in the new strain]. That means that 99% of the protein is still the same."

The mutation, known as the B.1.1.7 lineage, may be up to 70% more infectious and more of a concern for children.

It has sown chaos in Britain, prompting a wave of travel bans that are disrupting trade with Europe.

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On Tuesday, scientists said other COVID-19 variants resistant to the current crop of vaccines are likely to emerge at some point, but that immunisations can also be adapted “within weeks”.

In mid-December, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said as more people become vaccinated, the likelihood of a new variant which is partially able to escape the current jabs increases.

Professor Robert Dingwall, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), which advises the government, said he has seen reports showing that Pfizer and BioNTech could adapt their vaccine “within a matter of weeks”.

Watch: What is long COVID?