The first doses of the approved coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the UK, and the NHS has published a list of the 53 vaccine hubs which will co-ordinate delivery of the jabs in their areas.

Croydon University Hospital NHS Trust, St George's University Hospitals NHS FT and Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust have both been chosen to store and administer the vaccine during the first

The UK became the first country in the world to give the go-ahead to the vaccine earlier this week, paving the way for vaccinations to start next week.

The country has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer jab, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said 800,000 doses of the jab will arrive next week, while BioNTech chief commercial officer Sean Marett confirmed the UK is likely to receive at least five million doses by the end of the year - half of its initial 2020 order due to a production scaleback.

Issues surrounding storage temperature and how many times it can be transported have prompted the Prime Minister to warn of "immense logistical challenges" in the Pfizer rollout, with experts warning that people in care homes might face a delay in receiving immunisation from the disease.

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Local trusts will be responsible for co-ordinating delivering of the vaccine in their areas, with the Croydon and Wandsworth trust hospitals covering south west London, including St George’s Hospital in Tooting, Croydon University Hospital and Purley War Memorial Hospital.

Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust covers north Kent and includes Darent Valley Hospital and Queen Mary's in Sidcup.

South east London does not have a direct representative, but other local hubs include Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust.

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The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers, has recommended care home residents and staff should be the top priority to receive the vaccine.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, told a Downing Street press briefing that the jab must be stored at such low temperatures - minus 70C - that it could only be moved a few times and could only be shifted in large quantities, making it difficult to administer in care homes.

There is not yet approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to split the vaccine boxes containing 975 doses, meaning it would be wasted if sent to individual residential homes.

Liam Smeeth, a non-executive director of the MHRA, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that splitting the boxes was "being considered" by the regulator but "whatever they do, they will stick to keeping it safe and effective".

Wales's chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton confirmed the prioritisation list would have to be tempered as the devolved government would need to use mass vaccination centres which involved "people moving towards the vaccine".

Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the JCVI, said the vaccine priority list was designed to be flexible.

"Our clear remit was to decide on prioritisation groups but that there were going to be vaccine product storage, transport and administration constraints, and individual local circumstances," he told the Today programme.

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"We have advised in our statement that there is flexibility at an approach to this list according to what was actually feasible and logistical on the ground, so this is not wholly unexpected, but the clear list that we have drawn out is a list of priority in terms of vulnerability."

It is hoped that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, if approved by the regulator, will allow for easier administration on a mass scale as it can be stored at normal fridge-like temperatures.

Professor Ugur Sahin, co-founder of BioNTech, agreed that the rollout of the vaccine was a "challenge".

Pfizer and BioNTech have said the jab can be sent to care homes as long as it travels for no more than six hours after it leaves cold storage and is then put in a normal fridge at 2C to 8C.

Despite the hurdles, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said Covid-19 will be defeated by the spring.

Asked if he was confident the whole nation will have had two vaccinations by the spring, he told Sky News: "It's over the coming months we're going to see the rollout. Further plans will be outlined."

Public Health England will process orders placed by the NHS for next-day delivery to hospital hubs around the UK.

Meanwhile, a further 648 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, while there were a further 16,170 lab-confirmed cases.

The list of the 53 NHS vaccine hubs are

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Croydon University Hospital NHS Trust

Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust

Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (Colchester Hospital)

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Guys & St Thomas NHS Trust

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Kings College Hospital - Princess Royal University Hospital

Lancashire Teaching Hospital Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Leicester Partnership NHS Trust

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust

Milton Keynes University Hospital

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

North Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

North West Anglia Foundation Trust

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Portsmouth Hospital University Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

St George's University Hospitals NHS FT

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University College Hospitals Trust

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire

University Hospitals Derby Burton NHS FT

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Wirral University Teaching Hospital

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust