This is when everyone in the UK should be vaccinated - according to government’s accelerated plan

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2021, 4:36 pm

Boris Johnston has set out new, ambitious targets for vaccinating every adult in the UK, as the country prepares to welcome a ‘cautious’ easing of lockdown restrictions.

The UK government had previously revealed plans to vaccinate every adult by September, but this target has now been changed to July.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce the roadmap out of lockdown on 22 February amid emerging data that the vaccine has had a positive impact on hospital admissions.

So, when will adults be offered the vaccine and who has already received it? This is what you need to know.

Who has been vaccinated so far?

Over 17.2 million people in the UK have now received their first jab of the Covid vaccine.

The people who have been vaccinated are made up of everyone over 70, people identified as extremely vulnerable aged over 16, some over 65s and health and social care frontline workers.

There are nine high-priority groups involved in the first phase of the vaccine rollout so once phase one is completed, all over 50s and everyone over the age of 16 who is considered extremely vulnerable will have received their first dose of the vaccine.

From March, over 65s should expect to be given their vaccine, followed by over 60s and those who care for extremely vulnerable people, then over 50s.

A further 800,000 people were added to the vaccination priority list in mid-February, for health conditions such as obesity.

By 15 April, 32 million people in the top nine priority groups should have been offered their first dose of the vaccine.

The date for achieving this target was brought forward by Boris Johnston, having been originally set for mid-May.

When will the second priority list be announced?

Government advisors and ministers from the Department of Health are expected to announce everyone included in the second wave of vaccines, in the week commencing 22 February.

It has been debated whether teachers and police officers will be a priority group, with speculation that everyone over 40 will also be a top priority.

In recent weeks, there has been concern over the low uptake of the vaccine by ethnic minority groups and questions raised around whether BAME communities should be offered the vaccine as a matter of priority.

Alongside the new priority list due to be set out, those in the first priority groups will be invited to receive their second jabs. As of 21 February, 615,146 people have already received a second dose.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will have the final say on who will be classed as a priority group for the next rollout of first doses.

Prof Adam Finn, a member of the JCVI told BBC Breakfast on 21 February: "The strategy from JCVI that's being provided as advice to the government is just being finalised at the moment, and then government will make their decision as to how to do this during the coming days, so I think there'll be some kind of public announcement around that in the next week or so."

Boris Johnston has already stated all adults in England will have been offered their first vaccine by July.

He said: "Hitting 15 million vaccinations was a significant milestone - but there will be no let up, and I want to see the rollout go further and faster in the coming weeks.

"We will now aim to offer a jab to every adult by the end of July, helping us protect the most vulnerable sooner, and take further steps to ease some of the restrictions in place."

If the vaccine programme continues as planned, then every adult in the UK should have been offered their second dose by the end of October, however this is yet to be confirmed.

The head of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, Clive Dix, has said all adults in the UK could have received both doses of the Covid vaccination by autumn.

He told Sky News “We are confident within the vaccine taskforce now that the supply we're going to get will take us to a position where we can vaccinate as many people as the UK wants to vaccinate."

He was then asked if the vaccine taskforce was confident every adult could receive two jabs, to which he responded: "We're probably talking August time or September time all done, maybe sooner if we need to."

Will everyone eventually be vaccinated?

All adults in the UK should be offered the vaccine by the end of July, and at present there are no plans to vaccinate people under the age of 16.

However, research is underway at Oxford University into the impact of the virus on children and young people - with kids as young as six taking part in the trial.

England's deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, told ITV News several trials were ongoing to develop vaccines that were safe and effective in children.

He added that it could be possible some licensed children's vaccines would be available by the end of the year.

Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said: “While most children are relatively unaffected by coronavirus and are unlikely to become unwell with the infection, it is important to establish the safety and immune response to the vaccine in children and young people as some children may benefit from vaccination.

“These new trials will extend our understanding of control of SARS-CoV2 to younger age groups.”

What will happen to surplus vaccinations?

The UK has ordered more than 400 million doses of various vaccines, so many will be left over once all adults are vaccinated.

The Prime Minister pledged to donate these to poorer countries in a speech to a virtual G7 meeting on Friday, 19 February.

it is to be expected that those who are eligible for the vaccine in the UK will receive their two doses before spares are donated to other countries.

Mr Dix told Sky News the plan is to offer the vaccine to every adult in the UK first.

He said "We definitely want to vaccinate our own population first.

"It would be a bit weird to have people still waiting and giving the vaccines to others."