The Government has asked the NHS to get ready for a Covid-19 vaccination programme so we can begin offering the vaccine as soon as is it is available.
This is not likely to be in the next few days or weeks, however, and no timeline has yet been set.
Although a vaccine has not yet been approved for use in the UK, we are however, looking at how we might prioritise its delivery when it is.
This might mean that we prioritise the use of the test so that a smaller numbers of people – who are considered the most vulnerable – will be vaccinated first, with others being offered the vaccine in the new year.
The NHS will follow clinical guidance for who will be vaccinated first. Although there has been a recent and encouraging announcement about the use of a vaccine recently, there is currently no timeline for the roll-out of a vaccine and we will update our information as it becomes available.
In the meantime, we are encouraging people to have their flu vaccination as soon as possible in preparation for this winter. By protecting yourself against the flu virus, you will be also protecting family and friends.
Who will get the vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recently published updated advice on the priority groups to receive COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, advising that vaccines should first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people aged over 80 and health and social workers, before being rolled out to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.
The JCVI will continue to update its advice as more information becomes available on vaccine effectiveness, safety and clinical characteristics. This will in turn be reflected in the NHS’s plans.