As of Tuesday, December 9, the UK’s vaccination programme against Covid-19 has finally begun. The first batches of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been distributed to dozens of hospital hubs across Britain. Now the long-awaited national coronavirus vaccination programme has finally started, many are wondering when it will be their turn to be vaccinated.
Currently there are only 800,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the UK, which is enough to vaccinate 400,000 people.
The Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in total, with the majority of vaccines expected to arrive in early 2021.
Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said she expected up to four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available in the UK by the end of 2020.
Other vaccines, such as the Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, are also expected to be approved for use in the UK over the coming weeks and months.
READ MORE: Covid vaccine hospital hubs: Where are the vaccine hubs?
At the moment the UK is expecting to provide the bulk of the population’s Covid vaccinations in early 2021.
Next year it is hoped several other Covid vaccines will be approved for use in the UK, adding to the country’s total of vaccines available to administer.
For the time being, authorities are urging people to wait until they receive communication about vaccine appointments from the relevant authorities.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “I don’t think people should expect anything over the next few days because the reality is, as I said, that for the vast, vast, vast majority of people this will be done in January, February, March.
“And the one thing that we don’t want people to get anxious about or concerned about is ‘Where’s my letter?’ in December.”
He added: “People really shouldn’t worry if they’re over 80 and they haven’t had a letter.
“I’m sure there will be communications over the next few weeks that will tell people how quickly we are getting through the over-80s, and there will be plenty of communications to say, at the right point, if you haven’t had a letter then you should talk to your GP, but we are many weeks away from that.
“So as I said people just need to hang fire and wait for a proactive communication.
“If that hasn’t happened, don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you, and we’ll certainly tell you at the point at which you need to start worrying if you haven’t been contacted, but that will be many, many weeks away.”
What is the priority list for vaccines?
Based on the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the UK priority list for vaccination is as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- 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
- All those 65 years of age and over
- All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over