Why is there a delay between the first and second jabs?
Regulators have said the key to success will be to administer two full doses between four to 12 weeks apart, in order to give as many people the initial dose of the vaccine as possible, which offers some protection from the virus.
However, the rollout of second doses has been accelerated for over-50s following concerns about the spread of the Indian variant.
A study found a single dose of the Oxford vaccine was 76 per cent effective in fending off infection between 22 days and 90 days post-injection, rising to 82.4 per cent after a second dose at that stage. Researchers involved in the trial said the findings support the decision made by the UK to extend the interval between initial doses and booster doses of the shot to 12 weeks.
While a different study found that a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine provided a “very high” level of protection from Covid-19 after just 21 days, without the need for a second “top-up” vaccination.
The UEA study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, looked at data from Israel where the vaccine has been rolled out. Scientists found the vaccine becomes 90 per cent effective after 21 days – supporting UK plans to delay the timing of a second jab.
Those who had received the Pfizer jab were 49 per cent less likely to transmit the virus to others in their households, while transmission fell by 38 per cent for those given the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to data released on May 20 by PHE, a fortnight after the first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, the chance of getting symptomatic Covid fell by nearly 60 per cent, with a second dose bringing this up to 90 per cent.
The PHE data examined cases of coronavirus among those aged 65 and over, who were in the first groups to get vaccinated.
While it is not yet known how long immunity lasts beyond 21 days without a second dose, researchers believe it is “unlikely” to majorly decline during the following nine weeks.
Read more: From transmission to efficacy, the Oxford, Pfizer and other Covid vaccines compared
How will I be invited to get the vaccine?
The NHS will contact you when you are eligible for the vaccine and you will be invited to make an appointment.
If you are registered to a GP, you will be contacted by your surgery either over the phone, by text, email or post, in order to book in to receive a vaccine at your local vaccination centre.
You can still register at a GP surgery if you are not already registered to one, and it is advised that you make sure that your contact details are up to date to ensure that there are no delays.
However, if you are over 50 and have still not taken up an offer of the vaccine, the government urges you to contact your GP.
Alternatively, you can check whether you are eligible and find an appointment by using the NHS vaccination booking service or by calling 119.
Three modes of delivery
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there would be “three modes of delivery”, with hospitals and mass vaccination centres along with pharmacists and GPs offering the jab.
In total, 250 active hospital sites, 89 vaccination centres, and around 1,600 local vaccination sites – including mosques, museums and rugby grounds, as well as pharmacies – have been set up to ensure every at-risk person has easy access to a vaccination centre, regardless of where they live.
Sites across the country, including the ExCel in London, Etihad Tennis Centre in Manchester and Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, have been transformed into vaccine hubs and have been administering vaccines from January 25.
Twickenham Stadium also opened up on May 31 as a mass vaccination centre, offering a vaccine to those over 18 who turned up on the day to prevent a waste in doses.
The Prime Minister has also announced the formation of an ‘antivirals taskforce’, which will be launched with the aim of developing at least two effective treatments for Covid by the end of the year.
What about the new variant of coronavirus? Will the vaccine still protect us?
The emergence of new Covid-19 strains, such as the South African, Indian and Brazilian variants, have threatened to undermine the vaccine and testing gains of recent months.
Now more than 20 cases of the so-called “Nepal variant”, responsible for disrupting travel with Portugal, have been discovered in the UK, officials have revealed.
Public Health England (PHE) said it was urgently investigating a new spike mutation, labelled K417N, to the existing Indian, or “Delta” variant of concern.
Although not yet formally designated even as a variant under investigation, it has been blamed by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, for his decision to remove Portugal from the green list, throwing thousands of holidays into disarray.
But vaccines appear to prevent 97 per cent of infections with the Indian variant, real world data suggests, with no known cases of death among those fully vaccinated in the UK.
The Indian variant, now the dominant strain in the UK, has been estimated to be up to 60 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Kent variant, said Professor Neil Ferguson on June 4.
This comes amid warnings from the Imperial College professor and Government advisor that the data is looking “more negative” than it was last week.
He said the Indian variant was “substantially more transmissible”, but added that the exact percentage could range from 30 to 100 per cent more depending on “assumptions and how you analyse the data”.
Prof Ferguson told BBC Radio 4’s Today that the new hospitalisation data points to the variant causing “more severe” disease, but said that most people hospitalised at the moment are unvaccinated.
Thank you for dropping in to My Local Pages and seeing this story about the latest United Kingdom News items called “When will under 30s get their Covid vaccines? Latest news on the rollout”. This news release is shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our Australian news services.
#30s #Covid #vaccines #Latest #news #rollout