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NHS vaccination plans reveal which groups of people will get the jab first.
Leaked documents show that the health service is planning to provide 88.5 million vaccination doses to people across England by the end of April.
Everyone over the age of 18 is to get two doses.
A key part of the plan is the order in which people will receive the potentially life-saving jab.
At the top of the list are care home residents and staff, along with healthcare workers.
Given the high risk of exposure workers in care and medical environments have to the virus, getting them inoculated early is a priority – and may help to bolster the NHS by ensuring fewer people are off sick.
A mass rolling out of the vaccine is being prepared following successful trials
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It is not known currently whether the first group includes unpaid carers.
From then vaccines will be prioritised for society's oldest and young people with health conditions.
The group least at risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid-19 – the young and healthy – will begin to get the vaccine from the end of January.
The bulk of people in that group will be inoculated in March.
Everyone who wants the jab will have a chance to get it by Easter, if the proposals work as planned.
It is not currently known which health conditions will be prioritised, although people with respiratory conditions and those aggravated by Covid-19 will likely be bumped up the queue.
Older people will get the vaccine first
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
NHS to start giving Covid-19 vaccine to under-50s by end of January, leaked papers say
The order of people in line for the vaccine, according to the leaked plans, is as follows:
- Care home residents and staff, healthcare workers – from beginning of December;
- Ages 80 plus – from mid-December;
- Everyone aged 70-80 – from late December;
- Everyone aged 65-70 – from early January;
- All high and moderate risk under 65s – from early January;
- Everyone aged 50-65 – from mid January; and
- Everyone aged 18-50 – from late January; but with the bulk of this group vaccinated during March.
The proposals came to light via a leaked document seen by the Health Service Journal.
It is dated November 13 and was shared among some senior NHS regional leaders yesterday, the HSJ reports.
The hugely ambitious plans will require a massive effort from the NHS as well as volunteers if they are to be pulled off.
Large scale vaccination centres will be set up following the trials
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)
"Large scale vaccination centres" will be set up and be responsible for distributing 27.7m doses of vaccine.
There is expected to be 40-50 of these across England at conference centres, stadiums and similar venues.
The head of England's biggest NHS hospital trust has said in a "best-case scenario" it could take until April to vaccinate enough people to make a difference against Covid.
Dr David Rosser, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust chief executive, said: "It's pretty clear vaccination is not going to appear en masse until probably the beginning of February at the earliest.
"It is encouraging, (that) there are signs we might have some vaccine to vaccinate care home residents and the most vulnerable before then.
"But the big truckloads of stuff is not going to come in before February – that seems pretty clear."