THE NHS will begin vaccinating patients against coronavirus today - but not in York after the city was left out of the first wave of the UK’s biggest immunisation programme in history.

Fifty hospital hubs have been created across the country at which people aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS staff at high risk can get the jab.

Older patients being discharged home after a hospital stay will be among the first to receive the life-saving jab, and hospitals will also begin inviting over 80s in for a jab and work with care home providers to book their staff in to vaccination clinics.

But York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is not on the list of 50 trusts, with the nearest ones being Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

More hospitals will start vaccinating over coming weeks and months as the programme ramps up, said an NHS England spokesman.

He did not say why York was not on the list of 50 and nor did he reveal when it would begin vaccinating.

He said GPs and other primary care staff were also being put on standby to start delivering the jab, with a small number of GP-led primary care networks beginning this next week, with more practices in more parts of the country joining in on a phased basis during December and in the coming months.

“Vaccination centres treating large numbers of patients in sporting venues and conference centres will subsequently stand up when further supplies of vaccine come on stream,” he said.

He did not comment on claims by a source that GP surgeries in York are preparing for jabs to be given at the former Askham Bar Park&Ride site off Moor Lane, which has been used for flu vaccinations through the autumn.

He said: “The primary care and community elements are currently being worked through and will be announced at a later date.”

An NHS sign went up at the Moor Lane site last month saying it was to become a Covid-vaccination centre but this was subsequently removed amid suggestions it was "premature".

The site was closed for flu vaccinations yesterday morning but several tented structures were in place, possibly to be used in a coronavirus vaccination campaign.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said the NHS had a strong record of delivering large scale vaccination programmes – from the flu jab to HPV vaccine and lifesaving MMR jabs, and hardworking staff would once again rise to the challenge to protect the most vulnerable people from the "awful disease".

The spokesman said it was a "complex and difficult logistical challenge" to deliver the vaccine from the manufacturers Pfizer to patients.

“It needs to be stored at -70C before being thawed out and can only be moved four times within that cold chain before being used,” he said

“NHS staff have been working over the weekend to prepare the sites and accept deliveries.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the most vulnerable were being prioritised.