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Covid: When will I get the vaccine? Covid: When will I get the vaccine?
(about 5 hours later)
People under 30 will be not be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose, due to mounting evidence linking it to rare blood clots, the UK's vaccine advisory body says. The government aims to have offered a first vaccine jab to about 32 million people by 15 April.
More than 31 million people in the UK have already have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and more than five million have also had their second dose. For adults under 30, it says there will be enough Pfizer and Moderna jabs when it is their turn. UK vaccine advisers say they should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab because of evidence possibly linking it to blood clots.
What is the concern about clots?
The UK is now using all three coronavirus vaccines which have been approved for use in the country: Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Following concern about a possible link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and very rare cases of blood clotting, the government has said that under-30s will be offered an alternative jab.
A review by drugs regulator MHRA found that by the end of March, 79 people in the UK had suffered rare blood clots after vaccination - 19 of whom had died.
Professor Wei Shen, chair of the government's joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, said the decision to offer an alternative was "just on the side of safety, rather than any particularly significant concern about the risk from the vaccine itself".
And the MHRA's Dr June Raine said that, "the balance of benefits and known risks is still very favourable for the majority of people".
AstraZeneca: Is there a blood clot risk?AstraZeneca: Is there a blood clot risk?
How will we know Covid vaccines are safe? Is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine safe?
Who is being offered the vaccine now?Who is being offered the vaccine now?
The government aims to have offered a first vaccine dose to about 32 million people in the top nine priority groups by 15 April. In England, people aged 50 and over are being invited. You will get a text message with a link to the national booking service, which can also be called on 119. Carers can also apply.
The programme in England is now inviting those aged 50 and above to book appointments. Text messages are being sent out with a link to the national booking service website. People can also call the service on 119. Carers can also apply. Over-50s are also being offered the vaccine in Scotland. Unpaid carers in Scotland aged 16-64 can register online to get the vaccine, or call 0800 030 8013.
Over-50s are also being offered the vaccine in Scotland. Unpaid carers in Scotland aged 16-64 can register online to get the vaccine or call 0800 030 8013.
The Welsh government says all over-50s have now been offered their first dose.The Welsh government says all over-50s have now been offered their first dose.
In Northern Ireland, people aged 40-45 are now eligible for vaccination. They can book online or call 0300 200 7813. In Northern Ireland, people aged 40-45 are now eligible. They can book online or call 0300 200 7813.
Across the UK, people over 16 who live with adults with weakened immune systems will also be offered a vaccine, because experts say vaccinating them will help protect the vulnerable person in their household. Across the UK, people over 16 who live with adults with weakened immune systems will also be offered a vaccine.
Which groups have been given a first dose? Which groups have been offered a first dose?
Those most at risk from Covid and those caring for them were vaccinated first. Those most at risk from Covid and those caring for them were vaccinated first:
One dose has already been offered to:
frontline health and social care stafffrontline health and social care staff
elderly care home residentselderly care home residents
clinically extremely vulnerable peopleclinically extremely vulnerable people
over-16s with some health conditions which increase their risk from Covidover-16s with some health conditions which increase their risk from Covid
adult carers of disabled people and younger adults in care homesadult carers of disabled people and younger adults in care homes
over-55sover-55s
over-50s in Walesover-50s in Wales
over-45s in Northern Irelandover-45s in Northern Ireland
All four nations of the UK follow these priorities, but the roll-out varies between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All four nations of the UK follow these priorities, but the rollout varies between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
How many people have been vaccinated so far?How many people have been vaccinated so far?
When will everyone else get the jab?When will everyone else get the jab?
Vaccines supplies are expected to be delayed in April, but the government insists the remaining 21 million people will still be offered their first dose by the end of July. Vaccine supplies are expected to be delayed in April, but the government insists all adults will still be offered their first dose by the end of July.
However people under 50 without underlying medical conditions in England may now have to wait until May for their first jab. However, people under 50 without underlying medical conditions in England may now have to wait until May.
They will be vaccinated in order of age:They will be vaccinated in order of age:
40-49 years40-49 years
30-39 years30-39 years
18-29 years18-29 years
Priority will not be given to people in particular jobs, such as teaching, because this could slow down the vaccine programme. Risk is closely linked to someone's age, making vaccinating by age group the most efficient way to protect the population. Some groups at higher risk of needing hospital treatment from Covid are urged to take up the offer of vaccination promptly:
But some groups at higher risk of needing hospital treatment from Covid are urged to take up the offer of vaccination promptly: Men
men
Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communitiesBlack, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities
people with a BMI over 30 People with a BMI over 30
those in deprived neighbourhoods Those in deprived neighbourhoods
When will I get my second dose?When will I get my second dose?
More than five million people have had a second dose and are now fully vaccinated. More than five million people have had a second dose.
During April, the number of second doses - expected to be around 12 million - will probably overtake the number of first doses given. During April, the number of second doses - expected to be about 12 million - will probably overtake the number of first doses given.
This is so that everyone in the priority groups gets fully vaccinated within 12 weeks of their first jab. This is so that everyone in the priority groups has been fully vaccinated within 12 weeks of their first jab.
Are two doses needed?Are two doses needed?
The approved vaccines require two doses to provide the best protection against Covid. The approved vaccines require two doses to provide the best protection.
In the UK, people were initially told they would get a second dose three to four weeks after the first. But to ensure a quicker roll-out of first doses, the UK's chief medical officers extended the gap to 12 weeks. In the UK, people were initially told they would get a second dose three to four weeks after the first. But to ensure a quicker rollout of first doses, the UK's chief medical officers extended the gap to 12 weeks.
This approach is now backed by the WHO which says giving two doses eight to 12 weeks apart increases the Oxford vaccine's effectiveness and provides greater protection. The World Health Organization says this also increases the AstraZeneca vaccine's effectiveness.
However, some doctors are worried a long gap between doses of the Pfizer vaccine could make it less effective.However, some doctors are worried a long gap between doses of the Pfizer vaccine could make it less effective.
Can different vaccines be mixed?Can different vaccines be mixed?
The official guidance says everyone should get the same vaccine for both doses. Official guidance says everyone should get the same vaccine for both doses.
In very rare circumstances - if only one vaccine is available, or it's not known which was given for the first dose - a different vaccine can be used.In very rare circumstances - if only one vaccine is available, or it's not known which was given for the first dose - a different vaccine can be used.
People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should still get their second dose of it. Only those who suffered one of these rare blood clots after the first dose should not get vaccinated, the regulator says. People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should also have a second dose. Only those who suffered a rare blood clot after the first dose should not, the regulator says.
However, a UK trial is investigating whether mixing vaccines could offer better protection than two doses of the same one.
Do the vaccines work against new variants?Do the vaccines work against new variants?
All three vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing people from becoming seriously ill and dying from Covid.All three vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing people from becoming seriously ill and dying from Covid.
The Oxford vaccine offers a good level of protection against the "Kent" variant now dominant in the UK. Early research on other vaccines, including Pfizer, suggest they also protect against this variant. The AstraZeneca vaccine offers a good level of protection against the "Kent" variant now dominant in the UK. Early research on other vaccines, including Pfizer, suggest they also offer protection.
There are concerns the vaccines may not work as well against variants first spotted in South Africa and Brazil, and some UK variants too, but developers are already updating their jabs and plan to have them ready by the autumn. There are concerns the vaccines may not work as well against variants first spotted in South Africa and Brazil, and some UK variants too. But developers are updating their jabs and plan to have them ready by the autumn.
They are likely to be offered as a routine booster against Covid for some groups. They are likely to be offered as a routine booster for some groups.
How worrying are the new coronavirus variants?How worrying are the new coronavirus variants?
How many vaccine doses are there?How many vaccine doses are there?
The UK has ordered seven vaccines and expects to receive 407 million doses - more than enough for every adult to receive two.The UK has ordered seven vaccines and expects to receive 407 million doses - more than enough for every adult to receive two.
A vaccine from Novavax has shown promising results and will be made in north-east England. Will children be vaccinated?
A single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has also been shown to be effective. Both of these vaccines are being reviewed on a rolling basis by the UK's regulator. Covid vaccines are being trialled for children by most companies. Pfizer has released early data which suggests children aged 12-15 are well protected, with no unusual side effects.
Will everyone be vaccinated? AstraZeneca has halted its trial involving 300 participants aged six to 17 while the UK's medicines regulator investigates a possible link with rare blood clots in adults.
The aim is to vaccinate everyone aged 18 or over in the UK with one dose by the end of July - but children could receive a vaccine in the long term if they are shown to be safe. In the UK, the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in over-16s and the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in over-18s.
Covid vaccines are now being trialled in children by most companies making them. Pfizer has released early data which suggests children aged 12-15 are well protected by the vaccine, with a strong antibody response and no unusual side effects. Getting a Covid vaccine is not compulsory because experts say this wouldn't help create public confidence. But making it mandatory for NHS staff and care workers is being considered.
AstraZeneca has halted its trial involving 300 participants aged 6-17, while the UK's medicines regulator investigates a possible link with rare blood clots in adults.
AstraZeneca: Is there a blood clot risk?
In the UK, the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in over-16s and the Oxford-AZ and Moderna vaccines in over-18s.
Getting a Covid vaccine is not compulsory for the public because experts say this wouldn't help create public confidence. But making it mandatory for NHS staff and care workers is being considered.
What about people with allergies?What about people with allergies?
A very small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis - when vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.A very small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction - known as anaphylaxis - when vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.
You should discuss any serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.You should discuss any serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.
Most people will not be affected in any way, although mild side-effects are possible.Most people will not be affected in any way, although mild side-effects are possible.
Study reveals extent of Covid vaccine side-effectsStudy reveals extent of Covid vaccine side-effects
Why it is normal for some people to experience short-term side effects from Covid-19 vaccinesWhy it is normal for some people to experience short-term side effects from Covid-19 vaccines
I'm pregnant - can I be vaccinated? I
Vaccination should only be considered for pregnant women when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks.
This may be where the risk of catching coronavirus is high, or where underlying health conditions mean a high risk of Covid complications.
There are no specific safety concerns with the vaccines - but they were not tested on pregnant women.
Women who are breastfeeding can be given either vaccine. The vaccines have no impact on female fertility.