A raft of measures to allow the safe future of a mass UK-wide rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine have been outlined by the government today, with a vision to bring the pandemic to an end.

The measures could come into force as early as October, ahead of the winter season.

New rules and safeguards will strengthen the UK’s ability to successfully deploy a UK-wide vaccination programme, says the government, and adds that it “will be crucial in saving lives and bringing the current pandemic to an end”.

The proposals will also allow more fully trained healthcare professionals to administer vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, as well as enable an expanded workforce that can administer vaccinations to the public, making it easier and quicker for patients to access the vaccines they need.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam says the expanded workforce will include pharmacists, paramedics, occupational therapists, dentists, student doctors and student nurses along with a wider range of existing NHS staff, who will undergo a robust training programme.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said: “We are making progress in developing Covid-19 vaccines which we hope will be important in saving lives, protecting healthcare workers and returning to normal in future.

“If we develop effective vaccines, it’s important we make them available to patients as quickly as possible but only once strict safety standards have been met.

“The proposals consulted on today suggest ways to improve access and ensure as many people are protected from Covid-19 and flu as possible without sacrificing the absolute need to ensure that any vaccine used is both safe and effective.”