UK 'must be cautious' of new coronavirus variants says expert
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COVID-19 vaccines are a crucial part in allowing lockdown to end and the UK to open up businesses, shops and a general return to normality. With key dates for when certain lockdown rules will be lifted issued in the Prime Minister’s roadmap, many are eagerly awaiting news of when they can be vaccinated. Now the next round of vaccinations will be issued to the under 50s an announcement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) revealed today.
Already across the UK 18.6 million people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccine.
Of these, a further 700,718 have received the second dose.
Next on the priority list for vaccines are people aged 40 to 49, and scientific advisers have said advancing to this stage “provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock will lead a press conference today to announce the vaccine news.
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He will be joined by England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam and Dr Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser at Public Health England.
There had been a push for vaccinations according to profession – including teachers and police officers – however, the JCVI has decided to continue vaccinations by age.
The JCVI said modelling studies for phase 2 of the vaccination programme also indicate the speed of vaccine deployment is the most important factor in helping prevent severe illness and death.
So in phase 2, priority will be given in the following order:
– All those aged 40-49
– All those aged 30-39
– All those aged 18-29
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These groups will be vaccinated once all those in phase 1 (the over-50s and most vulnerable) have received a jab.
The Government has put a target for over-50s being vaccinated by mid-April.
A UK Government spokeswoman said the JCVI advice reflected the fact age remains “the strongest factor” linked to death and hospital admission and “the speed of delivery (of vaccines) is crucial.”
She added: “All four parts of the UK will follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the independent expert committee.
“The UK Government remains on course to meet its target to offer a vaccine to all those in the phase 1 priority groups by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.”
With the announcement of the next stage in vaccines, some may be wondering when they will be able to receive their jab.
This depends on age, factors like pregnancy, working in health care, and pre-existing medical conditions.
You can visit a calculator created by Omni here and check when you may receive the jab.
The calculator also gives an indication of when you are likely to receive your second jab.
You cannot choose which vaccine you receive, with two currently being issued in the UK – the Oxford/AstroZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
When it is time for you to receive your vaccination you will be contacted by the NHS to make an appointment.
The vaccine is as two doses. You will have the second dose three to 12 weeks after having the first dose.
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