GREAT Western Hospital is understood to be coordinating mass coronavirus vaccination plans for the region.

But last night NHS bosses for Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset were remaining tight-lipped on how vaccination doses would be distributed – and when.

It came as the medicines watchdog gave its seal of approval to the Pfizer Covid jab. The UK government has ordered 40m doses, enough to vaccinate 20m people.

Unlike the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and researchers at the University of Oxford, which is yet to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at -70C , limiting where it can be kept before it is distributed.

Yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained to MPs how the vaccines will be rolled out across the country, including using “conference centres and sports venues”.

He said: “While we begin vaccination next week the bulk of the vaccinations will be in the new year, but I would urge anyone called forward for vaccination by the NHS to respond quickly to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.

“Over the next few months, we will see vaccines delivered in three different ways. First, we will begin vaccinations in hospital hubs.

“Second, we’ll deploy through local community services including GPs and, in due course, pharmacies too.

“Third, we’ll stand up vaccination centres in conference centres and sports venues, for example, to vaccinate large numbers of people as more vaccines come on stream.”

Last week, Kevin McNamara, chief executive of Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, confirmed the Marlborough Road NHS trust was co-ordinating mass vaccination planning.

He told reporters: “The other big thing we are supporting and leading for in our region, so this is Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, is the mass vaccination planning.

“That’s something GWH is co-ordinating on behalf of that part of the patch.”

However, when the Adver attempted to get further detail about the plans yesterday we were directed to the NHS’s south west office.

A spokeswoman said: “No sites have been confirmed at this stage.”