• February 5, 2023

Covid: When will I get the vaccine?

By Philippa Roxby
Health reporter

Image rightsPA wireImage descriptionMargaret Keenan, 90, was the first person to be vaccinated as part of the NHS mass introduction

More than 10 million people in the UK have had at least one dose of vaccine to protect against Covid-19.

Two vaccines – developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca – are being used. A third from Modern, was approved.

All of them have been shown to be safe, effective in studies and are highly effective in preventing serious illness and death from Covid. There is evidence The Oxford vaccine can also reduce the spread of the virus from person to person.

Two doses are required for the best protection, now 12 weeks apart.

When will I get a vaccine?

Vaccines are given to those most at risk first. A list of nine high priority groups The following measures will be taken: Around 32 million people – including 90-99% of those most at risk of dying -:

  1. Nursing home residents for older adults and their carers
  2. Frontline people 80 and older, and health and social workers
  3. 75 year olds and older
  4. 70 year olds and older and clinically extremely vulnerable Individuals
  5. 65 year olds and older
  6. 16 to 64 year olds with serious underlying health conditions
  7. 60 year olds and older
  8. 55 year olds and older
  9. 50 year olds and older

All four nations of the United Kingdom follow these priorities, but decisions about introduction vary between England and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Frontline NHS workers, nursing home residents and workers, and those over 80s have come first when it comes to vaccines. The vast majority of these groups have now been vaccinated.

People over 70 and the clinically extremely vulnerable are now vaccinated. Some regions of the UK invite the over 60s, although different areas progress at different speeds.

Do the vaccines work against new variants?

Scientists are confident that vaccines should continue to offer good protection against the new variants now in circulation, although possibly not as well as against the original form of the virus.

When new versions of the vaccines are needed, developers say it’s relatively easy to tweak the current recipe to target some of the more worrying mutations.

Oxford-AZ’s vaccine developers have stated that they are ready to develop a new version of their vaccine if necessary, which will tackle new variants in time for the winter launch.

Do you need two doses?

All approved vaccines require two doses to provide the best protection from serious illness or death with Covid-19.

Based on how the shocks were tested in trials, people were initially told that they would receive the second dose three to four weeks after the first.

To ensure that as many people as possible are protected, the UK chief medical officers decided to extend the gap to 12 weeks.

This is supported by a recent study The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine remained 76% effective in the three months following the first dose.

Some doctors criticized the decision out of fear This would make the Pfizer vaccine in particular less effective.

So far, few countries have followed the UK’s lead, and the World Health Organization has only recommended a gap of up to six weeks in exceptional cases.

When are the police and teachers vaccinated?

Starting in spring, the second phase of vaccination will focus on the rest of the adult population – mainly those under the age of 50, who are much less likely to get Covid-19.

Teachers, transport workers, supermarket workers, and the military could be prioritized.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson recently said he wanted school staff to be a “top priority” for the vaccine in the next phase of the rollout.

Interior Minister Priti Patel says work is being done to put “police, fire and front line workers” higher in the queue.

Where can I get a vaccine?

Thousands of vaccination centers are in operation:

  • in hospital centers for NHS workers and elderly patients
  • in thousands of general practitioners’ offices
  • in nursing homes for employees and elderly residents
  • in some pharmacies
  • in sports stadiums and conference centers as Main vaccination centers

You are asked to book an appointment as soon as it is your turn, by phone or letter.

Media signatureLaura Foster from the BBC compares the three different Covid-19 vaccines

Can different vaccines be mixed?

The official instructions says everyone should get the same vaccine for both doses.

In very rare cases – when only one vaccine is available or it is not known which one was given for the first dose – Another vaccine can be used.

How many doses of vaccine are there?

In total, the UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and 40 million of the Pfizer vaccine.

Another 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected in the spring.

The goal is to achieve two million vaccinations per week, with everyone in the four top priority groups (up to 15 million people) receiving an initial dose by mid-February.

This requires a constant supply of the manufacturers and the implementation of the necessary quality tests, which can take weeks.

Will they all be vaccinated and which ones will I get?

The aim is to vaccinate as many people as possible over the age of 18.

The vaccines have not been tested in children, so they will not be given until further research is done.

Obtaining a Covid vaccine is not mandatory as experts say it will not help build public confidence.

The government has ordered seven different types of vaccines so far and expects a total of 407 million doses.

If everybody needed two doses, that would surely be enough for every adult in the UK.

Experts have not indicated that a group should receive a specific vaccine.

What about people with allergies?

A very small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction – known as Anaphylaxis – if vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

The UK regulator says anyone who has had severe reactions to food, insect bites, or a drug or vaccine in the past can safely receive either vaccine as long as they are not allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine.

You should discuss a medical history of serious allergies with your doctor before you are vaccinated.

Most people will not be affected in any way, although mild side effects – common with any vaccine – are possible.

I am pregnant – can I be vaccinated?

Vaccination should only be considered for pregnant women when the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks.

This can be the case when the risk of exposure to coronavirus is high and cannot be avoided, or when the underlying health conditions mean a high risk of Covid complications.

There are no specific safety concerns with the vaccines – however, they have not been tested on pregnant women.

Safety data is collected for all women who have been given one of the approved Covid vaccines.

Women who are breastfeeding can receive both vaccines.

Can I pay to be vaccinated earlier?

No – this vaccine is being introduced to people for free through the NHS. You cannot jump into the queue by paying.

Should I leave a gap between the flu and the Covid vaccines?

If you are eligible for a flu vaccine, get it as soon as possible, especially if you are also in one High risk priority group for a Covid shock.

At its last meeting, the Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI) recommended leaving at least seven days between vaccines.

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