It has been announced today that everyone over the age of 50 in England can now book a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.
This invitation to book a slot – via the NHS website or 119 – comes after the government revealed last month that all over-50s should be offered a vaccine by May.
The government is now aiming to offer a vaccine to all those in the first nine JCVI priority groups by that date, and this includes older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all front line NHS and care staff, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, the over-65s, all those over 16 with underlying health conditions, the over-60s, over-55s and now the over-50s.
Those aged 40-49 will be the next in line to get a vaccine after all vulnerable groups and the over-50s are covered.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set the target of vaccinating all UK adults by the end of July.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has already recommended that the next phase of vaccinations should continue to prioritise people by age and not their occupation to avoid slowing down the rollout.
The committee said this would provide “the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.
It added that prioritising occupational groups – such as teachers and police – could make the rollout more complex and could potentially slow the programme overall, leaving some vulnerable people at higher risk for longer.
The priority order of vaccinations for phase two will therefore be:
• Everyone aged between 40 and 49
• Everyone aged between 30 and 39
• Everyone aged between 18 and 29
At the time of writing, nearly 25 million people across the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
A total of 1,663,646 people and counting have now had a full course.
As it stands here in Greater Manchester, officials believe that over one million people have now received their first dose, with a significant number across of people across the region having already scheduled an appointment or are set to in the coming weeks.
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.