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When will I be offered the coronavirus vaccine?

When will I be offered the coronavirus vaccine?
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If there’s one question we’re all asking right now, it’s this: when will I be offered the coronavirus vaccine? Well, it depends on which category you fall into. Here’s the lowdown. 

When will I get the vaccine?

Essentially, all UK adults will be offered the free coronavirus vaccine sometime in 2021. However, when you’re offered the vaccine depends on your:

  • age
  • overall health
  • occupation 

While the timeline varies slightly depending on where you are in the UK, here’s roughly what you can expect. 

First phase priority groups

You should be offered the vaccine by mid-February if you are: 

  • aged 70+
  • a health or social care worker (e.g. NHS staff)
  • a care home worker

Remaining priority groups

The timeline might change depending on how quickly the vaccine is rolled out to the most vulnerable. However, you should be offered the vaccine by the end of April if you are:

  • aged 50+
  • aged between 16 and 64 with serious underlying health conditions

Serious clinical conditions include:

  • blood cancer
  • morbid obesity
  • severe asthma or emphysema 
  • being immunocompromised 

There’s a push to include more people in these priority groups, including:

  • teachers
  • police officers and firefighters
  • supermarket workers  

Right now, though, these occupations are not on the priority list. 

Remaining adult population

For everyone else, you’ll probably be offered the vaccine from May onwards. It could be later than this, though – the priority is ensuring our vulnerable population receive the first doses. 

Can I get the vaccine quicker privately?

No. Right now, the vaccine is only available through the NHS. This ensures that there’s enough supply available to vaccinate the most vulnerable people first. 

If anyone offers you the vaccine privately, it’s probably a scam. You should contact the police on 101 to report it. 

Where will I get the vaccine?

Most people will get the vaccine at their local GP practice, but you might be vaccinated at your nearest hospital, pharmacy or vaccination hub. Check your invitation for more details.

If I’m offered the vaccine, can my household get it at the same time?

Not unless their doctor contacts them and offers them the vaccine, no.

Even if you’re in a priority group, your family members won’t be vaccinated until it’s their turn based on their age and health conditions.  

Can I choose which vaccine I get?

Chances are you’ll only be offered whichever vaccine is available at your clinic.

Don’t worry, though. The Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines have all been approved for use across the UK, which means they’re safe and effective. 

Is there anyone who can’t get vaccinated?

Well, right now the vaccine is only being offered to those aged 16 and over, so children can’t get vaccinated. But there may be situations in which you might be advised to delay getting the vaccine.

Talk to your doctor if you’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction before – some people may be allergic to the vaccine ingredients, which means they can’t take it.

Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? Your doctor might recommend you wait before getting your vaccine, so check with them first. 

Takeaway

Unless you’re over 50 or you have a serious underlying health condition, it’s unlikely that you’ll be offered the vaccine until summer at the earliest.

Remember, though, that getting the vaccine won’t mean you can’t get or pass on coronavirus, so it’s important that you stick to the lockdown and social distancing rules for the time being.

You may still need to self-isolate, too, if you’re with someone who tests positive for coronavirus, so make sure you have some emergency cash to hand just in case.

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