The chief executive of NHS England has revealed how people will be notified whether they are able to get the coronavirus vaccine first.

It was announced today (Wednesday) that the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine had been approved for use in the UK - the first country in the world to do so.

The government accepted a recommendation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), with vaccinations to start next week.

A priority list for the Covid-19 vaccine has been confirmed by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Chief executive of NHS England Sir Simon Stevens speaking at a press conference

Their guidance states that older adults in care homes and staff in care homes should come first in line.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Sir Simon Stevens confirmed that those at 'highest risk' would be vaccinated first.

"The experts have clearly recommended that the NHS should make sure that the first people to be given the vaccine are those that are at highest risk together with the people that look after them", he told the press briefing.

"In practice what that means is starting with the over 80s, as well as people in care homes, together with some of the frontline health and social care staff who look after them.

"Then as more vaccine becomes available we will be, in the New Year, extending that to many more people across the country in line with the recommendations.

"Although we are the first health service in the world to be able to get vaccinating, supplies are phased.

"The bulk of this vaccination programme, either through this vaccine or in the hope that others will join it, will take place in the period from January."

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Sir Simon Stevens confirmed that from next week, 50 hospital hubs across England will start offering the vaccine to the over 80s and care home staff.

Typically, they may be people who were already down to come into hospital next week for an outpatient appointment, he said.

If you are one of those people who is first in line, the hospital will get in touch with you, he confirmed.

"You don't need to do anything about it yourself", Sir Simon Stevens added.

"That will be followed by GP practices in each area coming together to operate local vaccination centres and that will grow to 1,000 right across England.

"GPs will be in touch with their at-risk patients inviting them to come forward for vaccination.

"We've had an excellent response from GPs across the NHS wanting to participate in this programme.

"Then if the independent regulator give approval for a safe way of splitting these packs of 975 doses, the good news is that we will be able to start distributing those to care homes.

"Then as even more vaccine becomes available, finally, we will be able to switch on large vaccination centres across the country and invite local community pharmacists to begin to offer vaccination as well.

"We the NHS, your GP or the hospital, will contact you if you are to be offered the vaccination."

The Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective in clinical trials.

Tens of millions of doses of the vaccine will arrive in the country in the coming weeks with the first 800,000 on their way already.

People will require two doses of the vaccine, given 21 days apart, and it needs to be stored at between -80°C to -60°C before it is administered.