Covid-19 vaccine: who will get it, when and how?

A vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Picture: John Cairns/U

A vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Picture: John Cairns/University of Oxford/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. But what does this mean for people being vaccinated?

The Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with 10 million due in the UK by the end of the year. Patients need two doses, meaning not enough shots have been secured for the entire UK population.

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The UK has become the first country to approve the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How will a vaccine be rolled out?

Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that NHS staff are ready to start delivering jabs to the most vulnerable, as well as health and care workers, as a priority. In addition, NHS leaders have said there will be "roving teams" deployed to vaccinate care home residents and workers.

Based on the current information, the vaccines being developed require two doses per patient, with a 21 to 28 day gap between doses. New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced.

The number of people who have had a flu jab has risen in Norfolk and Waveney.

Older people starting with those 80 and over, down to over 50s, will be prioritised for the vaccine. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto


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Who is top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death. Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:

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1. Older adults in a care home and care home workers
2. All those who are 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
3. All those who are 75 years of age and over
4. All those who are 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, excluding pregnant women and those under 18 years of age
5. All those who are 65 years of age and over
6. Adults aged 18 to 65 years in an at-risk group
7. All those aged 60 and over
8. All those aged 55 and over
9. All those aged 50 and over

Aren't there other vaccines?

Yes, recent data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccine trials suggests their candidates also have high efficacy.

Oxford data indicates the vaccine has 62pc efficacy when one full dose is given followed by another full dose, but when people were given a half dose followed by a full dose at least a month later, its efficacy rose to 90pc. The combined analysis from both dosing regimes resulted in an average efficacy of 70.4pc.

Final results from the trials of Moderna's vaccine suggest it has 94.1% efficacy, and 100pc efficacy against severe Covid-19.

Volunteer being administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Volunteer being administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.  - Credit: PA

How many doses has the UK secured?

The UK has secured access to 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which is almost enough for most of the population. It also belatedly struck a deal for seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.

The UK has secured access to:
- 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine
- 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine
- Some 30 million doses from Janssen
- 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine - the first agreement the firms signed with any government
- 60 million doses of a vaccine being developed by Valneva
- 60 million doses of protein adjuvant vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur
- Seven million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US.

How do we know the vaccines are safe?

Researchers reported their trials do not suggest any significant safety concerns.

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