The UK is on track to hit the vaccination targets!

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The COVID-19 vaccination is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are the two jabs currently in rotation in the UK, with doses developed by Moderna, which was approved on January, expected to arrive by spring. 

New results on February showed that a single dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine prevents two-thirds of Covid transmissions.

 

 

How many vaccine doses are there?

The UK has ordered seven types of vaccines and expects to receive 407 million doses - more than enough for every adult to receive two.

Will everyone be vaccinated?

The aim is to vaccinate everyone aged 18 or over in the UK with one dose by the end of July, and the government says it is on track to meet this deadline.

The vaccines have not been tested on children so they won't receive them until more research has been carried out.

Vaccination programme, who is next?

The people who were vaccinated first were judged to be most at risk from Covid. About 32 million people are part of the priority group and they represent about 99% of preventable deaths from coronavirus

All four nations of the UK follow these priorities, but the roll-out varies between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

UK COVID-19 VACCINE DELIVERY PLAN

PHASE 1

Jan to 15 Feb

Older care home residents

0.3 m

Care home workers

0.5 m

Health and social care workers

0.8 m

All those aged 70 and over

8.8 m

Clinically extremely vulnerable people (under 70)

1.2 m
End Feb to 15 April

All those aged 60-69

4.5 m

16-64 with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers for elderly and disabled

7.3 m 

All those aged 50-59

5.2 m

TOTAL

32 m

 

UK COVID-19 VACCINE DELIVERY PLAN

PHASE 2

By 31 July

All those aged 40-49

21 m (approx.)

All those aged 30-39

All those aged 18-29

Source: UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan, figures based on NHSEI data for England, extrapolated to UK

 

Why should I get vaccinated?

Vaccines mean that fewer people will get Covid-19 and those who do are far less likely to go to hospital or to die. As well as protecting you, vaccines also protect your family, friends and other people you come into contact with.

Studies in England and Scotland found that within weeks of getting a first dose, the risk of being admitted to hospital fell by at least 75% for the over 80s.

And there is evidence that vaccines can reduce the spread of the virus too. Health workers who were vaccinated with one dose reduced their risk of catching the infection by 70%, another study found. If an individual is not infected, they cannot pass it on.

Even if new variants develop, new versions of the vaccines are relatively straightforward to organise and the UK regulator says it will fast-track approval of updated vaccines in a matter of months.

Vaccine developers are already updating their jabs with the plan to have them ready by the autumn. They are likely to be offered as a routine booster against Covid for some groups.

Where are the vaccines coming from?

The UK is currently receiving doses of two vaccines approved by the medicine regulator:

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech jab - the first to be given the green light in December - is being imported from Puurs, Belgium. 

  • A second vaccine, from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, is being made in Britain by two biotech companies: Oxford BioMedica, based in Oxford; and Cobra Biologics, based at Keele Science Park, Staffs. 

  • Another company, Wockhardt, based in Wrexham, fills the vials and packages them for use.

Fair distribution worldwide

Responding to news that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has shown 70% effectiveness in clinical trials, potentially increasing to 90% if the dosage is altered, Steve Cockburn, Head of Economic and Social Justice at Amnesty International, said:“Oxford and AstraZeneca have promised “broad and equitable access” to this vaccine, bringing hope to people around the word."

The vaccine’s low cost and easy storage should make fair distribution possible, and this is the first COVID-19 non-profit vaccine aiming for global supply, equity, and commitment to low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).