Covid: Which groups are next in line to get the vaccine? This is how you can get one
Over 15 million people in the UK have had the first coronavirus vaccine jab – but who is next and how do you get one?
The two vaccines currently in use, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca, have been rolled out since the end of last year, with the amount of people to have received their first dose now surpassing 15 million people in the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed reaching milestone an 'extraordinary feat', with the head of NHS England calling the uptake numbers ‘fantastic’.
The head of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, said to the BBC after reaching the 14 million mark: "The uptake has been fantastic - we thought three-quarters would say yes to the vaccine but more than nine out of 10 have done so.”
He added that it has been the “fastest and largest vaccination campaign in history.”
It has also been reported that there may be a rollout of vaccine passports for those that have been inoculated against Covid-19, so knowing when and how you can get yours is increasingly important.
Who will receive the vaccine next?
The vaccine priority list is set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and includes nine categories.
Everyone in these top four (most at risk of the virus) categories have been offered their first jab, including NHS frontline staff, over 80’s, over 75’s and care home residents and workers.
Some areas are now vaccinating people over the age of 60, and over one million people over the age of 65 have now been invited for their first dose of the vaccine.
The government aims to have offered the jab to all over 50’s by the end of April, which includes almost 20 million people.
The aim is to vaccinate the rest of the adult population by autumn.
The JCVI has advised that the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be given effectively between three to 12 weeks following the first dose.
How can you get the vaccine?
If you are 70 or over in England and are yet to be vaccinated, you should contact the NHS to book your appointment online, or by calling 119.
Some over 16s with certain health conditions have been invited for their first vaccine, along with people in the ‘social care group’; carers of disabled people, and younger adults in care homes.
It has also been planned that those with frontline jobs, such as those in the police force and teachers, will receive the vaccine after the most vulnerable by the end of April.
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC that a third of social care staff are still yet to get their first vaccine.
The Prime Minister has urged those who have been invited in these categories to come forward to receive the ‘safe’ vaccine.
He said: "These jabs, these vaccines are safe, they are efficacious, they will help protect you against disease and against death and they're a wonderful thing to have - they help protect you, your family, your neighbours.”
New treatments for the virus are also being fast-tracked, meaning patients could be treated within just months.