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When will you be eligible for the Covid vaccine? When will you be eligible for the Covid vaccine?
(about 1 hour later)
A vaccine which protects against Covid-19 has been given to the first person in the UK as part of the biggest mass vaccination campaign in NHS history. Margaret Keenan, aged 90, was vaccinated at University Hospital, Coventry on Tuesday morning
Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, was the first to receive the jab. She said it was the "best early birthday present". The NHS has begun the biggest mass vaccination campaign in its history, with a jab that protects against Covid-19.
People aged over 80 in hospital, frontline health staff and care home workers will be first to get the jab at 70 designated hospitals hubs across the UK. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be safe and effective by the UK medicines regulator last week, and was approved for mass use in over-16s.
Residents in care homes will start to be vaccinated within two weeks and other high-risk groups will follow over the coming months. Two other vaccines - developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna - could also be approved soon and ready for widespread use.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be safe and effective by the UK medicines regulator last week, which approved it for mass use in over-16s - the first in the world to do so. Who will get the vaccine first?
When will I get a vaccine? Broadly, vaccines are being given to the most vulnerable first, as set out in a list of nine high-priority groups, covering about a quarter of the UK population.
Broadly, vaccines are being given to the most vulnerable first, as set out in a list of high-priority groups from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation below. They are thought to cover 90-99% of those at risk of dying from Covid-19.
The UK is initially expecting 800,000 doses - enough for 400,000 people - which will be shared out fairly across the four UK nations. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers
75-year-olds and over
70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
65-year-olds and over
16 to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
60-year-olds and over
55-year-olds and over
50-year-olds and over
People aged over 80 in hospital, frontline health staff and care home workers have been the first to get the jab at 70 designated hospitals hubs across the UK.
As soon as there is clarity on how smaller batches of the vaccine can be transported safely at ultra-cold temperatures of -70C, care home residents will follow - probably from 14 December.
People will be vaccinated twice - around 21 days apart - and full immunity starts seven days after the second dose.
The second phase of vaccination will focus on the rest of the population, mainly the under-50s, who are much less likely to be ill with Covid-19 and therefore less of a priority.
It could be well into 2021 before this phase begins, by which time more Covid vaccines could be approved for use.
How many vaccine doses are there?
The UK is initially expecting delivery of 800,000 doses - enough for 400,000 people - which will be shared out fairly across the four UK nations.
in Scotland, which is receiving 65,000 doses, vaccinators will be first to get the jabin Scotland, which is receiving 65,000 doses, vaccinators will be first to get the jab
in Northern Ireland, a nurse received the first of 25,000 dosesin Northern Ireland, a nurse received the first of 25,000 doses
in Wales, 6,000 doses will be administered from special centres by the end of this weekin Wales, 6,000 doses will be administered from special centres by the end of this week
in England, 50 hospitals are storing and administering the first vaccinesin England, 50 hospitals are storing and administering the first vaccines
Each nation is taking a similar approach, initially carrying out vaccinations from hospital hubs. Although the UK was planning to have 10 million doses of the Pfizer jab before the end of the year, it is likely to receive just four million - enough for two million people.
The first people vaccinated will be the over-80s, workers in care homes and NHS staff, including the vaccinators themselves. The British-made Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be approved by the UK regulator soon, and millions more doses could be made available quickly because it can be stored at normal fridge temperatures.
As soon as there is clarity on how smaller batches of the vaccine can be transported safely at ultra-cold temperatures of -70C, care home residents will be next on the list - probably from 14 December.
People will be vaccinated twice - around 21 days apart - and full immunity starts seven days after the second dose.
The nine priority groups - around a quarter of the UK population - are thought to cover 90-99% of those at risk of dying from Covid-19, according to the JCVI.
The older you are, the higher your risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus - and that risk rises sharply beyond 70. People with underlying health conditions are also vulnerable to the virus.
The second phase of vaccination, which won't start until well into 2021, will focus on the under-50s.
Local NHS and public health teams will be given some flexibility to allocate vaccines to other at-risk groups, including people from ethnic backgrounds and deprived communities.
Where will I get a vaccine?Where will I get a vaccine?
You'll be invited to book an appointment to get a vaccine as soon as it's your turn, probably by letter.You'll be invited to book an appointment to get a vaccine as soon as it's your turn, probably by letter.
Vaccinations will take place:Vaccinations will take place:
in hospital hubs, around 70 have been set up across the UK, initially in hospital hubs - about 70 have been set up across the UK so far
in care homes, when the logistics are confirmedin care homes, when the logistics are confirmed
in thousands of GP surgeries as stocks become availablein thousands of GP surgeries as stocks become available
in sports stadiums and conference centres acting as major vaccination hubs in sports stadiums and conference centres acting as major vaccination hubs next year
The NHS is recruiting 30,000 volunteers to help with the rollout, including lifeguards, airline staff and students - who will be trained to give the jabs.The NHS is recruiting 30,000 volunteers to help with the rollout, including lifeguards, airline staff and students - who will be trained to give the jabs.
How will the new Pfizer vaccine work?How will the new Pfizer vaccine work?
Will everyone be vaccinated?
The eventual aim is that as many people as possible over the age of 16 receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
That would be more than 50 million people - a huge challenge.
There is no timeframe on this momentous task, but it's clear that's the long-term plan in 2021.
The NHS has plenty of experience delivering vaccines to huge numbers of people; for example this winter's flu jab should reach 30 million.
A Covid vaccine won't be compulsory though - no other vaccines in the UK are - and experts say this approach doesn't help create confidence in the vaccine.
At present, the government has ordered seven different types of vaccine and expects to receive 355 million doses, including 100 million of the Oxford/AstraZeneca one.
If everyone needs two doses, that would certainly be enough for every adult in the UK.
I'm pregnant - will that affect when I'm vaccinated?I'm pregnant - will that affect when I'm vaccinated?
For precautionary reasons, and because the vaccine was not tested on pregnant women during the trials, the official advice is that you should wait until after the birth of your baby.For precautionary reasons, and because the vaccine was not tested on pregnant women during the trials, the official advice is that you should wait until after the birth of your baby.
There is no suggestion the advice is based on any safety concerns with the vaccine.There is no suggestion the advice is based on any safety concerns with the vaccine.
Pregnant women are likely to be low down the list of priority groups anyway because of their age, and may only be offered a vaccine in the second phase in 2021.Pregnant women are likely to be low down the list of priority groups anyway because of their age, and may only be offered a vaccine in the second phase in 2021.
Can I pay to be vaccinated sooner?Can I pay to be vaccinated sooner?
No - this vaccine is being rolled out free to people via the NHS.No - this vaccine is being rolled out free to people via the NHS.
You can't jump the queue by paying for it, but there should be plenty of vaccine to go round.You can't jump the queue by paying for it, but there should be plenty of vaccine to go round.
Should I leave a gap between getting the flu and Covid vaccines?Should I leave a gap between getting the flu and Covid vaccines?
If you're eligible for a flu vaccine, you should get it as soon as possible, particularly if you will also be in a high-risk priority group for a Covid jab.If you're eligible for a flu vaccine, you should get it as soon as possible, particularly if you will also be in a high-risk priority group for a Covid jab.
Having both infections at once this winter could be dangerous.Having both infections at once this winter could be dangerous.
At its last meeting, the JCVI recommended leaving at least seven days between the vaccines.At its last meeting, the JCVI recommended leaving at least seven days between the vaccines.
Flu jab 'more important than ever' this winterFlu jab 'more important than ever' this winter
Your Questions Answered: Will I need a vaccine passport?Your Questions Answered: Will I need a vaccine passport?
Covid vaccines: Who decides if they are safe?Covid vaccines: Who decides if they are safe?
Will everyone be vaccinated?
The eventual aim is that as many people as possible over the age of 16 receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
That would be more than 50 million people - a huge challenge.
There is no timeframe on this momentous task, but it's clear that's the long-term plan in 2021.
The NHS has plenty of experience delivering vaccines to huge numbers of people; for example this winter's flu jab should reach 30 million.
A Covid vaccine won't be compulsory though - no other vaccines in the UK are - and experts say this approach doesn't help create confidence in the vaccine.
At present, the government has ordered seven different types of vaccine and expects to receive 355 million doses, including 100 million of the Oxford/AstraZeneca one.
If everyone needs two doses, that would certainly be enough for every adult in the UK.