Vaccine: Expert fires warning over new variants
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The coronavirus vaccine rollout is ongoing but to date, more than 13.5 million people have received their first Covid vaccine doses in the UK. The Government is aiming to offer a first vaccine dose to the top four priority groups by February 15, before offering the vaccine to the next people on the list. The priority groups have been decided by the Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Vaccine rollout is underway across all nations in the UK and this week, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales has managed to offer a vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups.
The number of vaccine appointments in Scotland will need to be reduced in the next few weeks, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said.
However, she said the vaccination programme in Scotland remains on track to hit its targets.
She said the need to reduce appointments is due to a “combination of circumstances” including “remarkably high uptake, a temporary reduction in supply from Pfizer and the need to ensure people can receive second doses on time”.
Which priority group are you in?
Now the majority of the top four priority groups have been offered a Covid vaccination, the UK will soon begin vaccinating the next priority group.
Currently vaccines are only being offered to residents in care homes and staff, frontline health workers, people over the age of 70 and people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.
The next group to be offered a vaccine is group five, which includes people over the age of 65.
The JCVI priority groups are as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
- All those 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
- Rest of the population (to be determined)
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When will you get your Covid vaccine?
From next week, Covid vaccine invites will start to be sent out to people over the age of 65.
Some GPs have already started rolling out vaccines to people over the age of 65 if they have done all they can to reach everyone in the top four priority groups.
Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group is among those that has invited over-65s to receive a vaccine, while in Shropshire, Coventry, York and Hampshire some vaccines have already been given.
Vaccine rollout over the coming months will depend on the supply of vaccines to the UK.
Currently three vaccines have been approved for use in the UK, but only the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have started to be administered.
The Covid vaccine from US pharmaceutical company Moderna is expected to start arriving in the UK from Spring 2021, adding to the UK’s available vaccine supply significantly.
Further vaccines are also awaiting approval and, if they pass safety checks, could be rolled out in the UK over the coming months.
All people over the age of 50 in the UK are expected to receive their first vaccine doses by the end of April.
The remaining 21 million people who make up the rest of the adult population may expect to receive their first vaccine by autumn, depending on supply.
Currently it is not clear whether children could be offered the vaccine in the future and studies in this area are ongoing.
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