GPs in England will be given 10 days notice before the rollout of any Covid vaccine, under plans which could see jabs being administered as soon as next month.
A letter from health officials to doctors in England has set out more detail on the plans for distributing the vaccine across communities, but vaccinations will not begin during the week commencing 30 November, according to a letter from NHS England’s medical director of primary care.
Health leaders have instead recommended rolling out the flu vaccine in newly designated vaccine clinics before the coronavirus vaccine is available, with the jab now also available to people over the age of 50.
Leaders have said GPs will have access to £20million to fund preparations for “the biggest vaccination drive in NHS history”.
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Who will get the Covid vaccine first?
The exact order in which a Covid vaccine will be distributed is yet to be confirmed, and will depend on which vaccines will be available, subject to them passing regulatory checks.
However, interim guidance published by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation says that care home residents and staff will be the first priority, followed by the over 80s and health and social care workers.
The vaccine will then be made available to people in 5-year age bands, from the over 75s to over 50s, with the oldest as the highest priority.
Which Covid vaccines are likely to be available?
There have been a number of encouraging developments recently in the race to produce a viable coronavirus vaccine.
Interim results have been published for three vaccines, with each found to be safe and effective.
Most recently, the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca published results showing that it is between 62 and 90 per cent effective, and the UK has ordered 100 million doses.
The vaccines developed by both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have both been shown to be at least 90 per cent effective.
The UK government has ordered 45 million doses of these all together, some of which will become available by the end of 2020.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed this week that it received the information needed to progress the review into Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine.