Basildon and Southend hospitals are set to start rolling out the Pfizer coronavirus jab next week.

South Essex patients are set to get the vaccine in just days, after British medical regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for roll out as soon as next week.

Immunisations could start within days for people in high priority groups - say health experts.

It comes as Basildon now has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the country.

READ MORE >>> Essex coronavirus: Basildon's high rate a problem for county While England has seen more than a 30 per cent cut in new infections over the last week, new cases in Basildon continue to rise.

The UK has already ordered 40m doses - enough to vaccinate 20m people, with two shots each.

Around 10m doses should be available soon, with the first doses arriving in the UK in the coming days.

It is the fastest ever vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same developmental steps that normally span a decade.

Although vaccination can start, people still need to remain vigilant and follow coronavirus rules to stop the spread, say experts.

That means sticking with the social distancing and face masks, and testing people who may have the virus and asking them to isolate.