SPORTS halls and parks across south Essex will be used to deliver the mass Covid-19 vaccination programme... but only after NHS staff are given their jab at “hospital hubs”.

As the UK prepares to roll out the Pfizer vaccine after emergency approval from the medicine regulator, the Echo can reveal sports halls and “large open spaces” are being lined up for pop-up vaccination centres.

Nurses inside multiple hospital trusts have detailed just how the NHS is preparing to roll out the vast vaccination programme.

However, major concerns have been raised about the staffing levels needed to administer the jab with workers offered £12.74 an hour to play their part.

This figure is “significantly less” than the average salary for nurses and doctors.

The Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust has been tasked with administering the vaccine in Southend.

It’s yet to be confirmed whether the trust will be contracted to the whole of the county, but Essex County Council has confirmed it will play a “supporting role” in delivering the vaccine.

A 56-year-old nurse under EPUT, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “GPs will be given the vaccine, and will then distribute it out.

“The vaccine centres will be a long way off yet, it will be going to care homes first. It will most likely be sports hall or parks, large open spaces, somewhere like that.

“There will be a number of venues across Southend. It will be a balance between large buildings and new ones.

“Staff are being asked to help out. Some are being seconded onto the team, while some are being paid overtime to do it.”

The UK has ordered 40m doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Approval for the UK-based Oxford University vaccine is still being sought.

Another nurse, from the Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust, who also asked to remain anonymous, added: “I haven’t been briefed at all, not even about when we can get one.

“There is a lack of certainty at the moment, but it can’t come soon enough. There wont’ be enough staff to administer it. The pay just isn’t good enough, and most of will it be overtime.”

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, said: “Hospitals will shortly kick off the first phase of the largest scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history.

“The NHS has a proven track record of delivering large scale vaccinations and, once the final hurdles are cleared and the vaccine arrives in England’s hospitals, health service staff will begin offering people this ground-breaking jab in a programme that will expand to cover the whole country in the coming months.”