Vaccines: Government to 'blame' for low BAME uptake says expert
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Three Covid vaccines have been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are already being deployed across the UK and more than 16 million people have now received their first Covid vaccine dose. The Government is currently aiming to vaccinate all people within the top nine priority groups with at least one vaccine dose by the end of April.
Vaccines have been widely cited as the world’s exit route from the pandemic.
However, Boris Johnson said this week he will take a “cautious and prudent approach” to easing the country out of its third national lockdown since March 2020.
The Prime Minister is awaiting new data on the impact of vaccines on the spread of coronavirus in the UK before announcing any easing of lockdown measures.
Later this month, Mr Johnson is expected to outline his ‘roadmap’ for easing lockdown, which he has stressed will be based on “data not dates”.
Which group is being vaccinated now?
Earlier this month ministers announced the Government had met its target of offering a first vaccine dose to all within the top four priority groups.
These groups include people who live or work in care homes, health and social care workers, people over the age of 70 and people considered clinically extremely vulnerable.
The NHS is now offering Covid vaccines to groups one to six on the priority list outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
In addition to the top four priority groups, vaccines are now being offered to people over the age of 65.
Anyone in these priority groups can book their Covid vaccination appointments online, they do not have to wait to be contacted.
People considered at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable) are also being offered the vaccine now.
The NHS website states people who are clinically vulnerable should wait for the NHS to contact them to arrange an appointment to be vaccinated.
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Which group is next to be vaccinated?
Based on the JCVI priority list, groups seven to nine are next to be vaccinated in the UK.
Group seven includes people over the age of 60, while group eight covers people aged 55 and over.
Group nine is the last group to be vaccinated and it includes everyone over the age of 50.
After the top nine priority groups have been vaccinated, the order of priority has not been determined for the rest of the population.
From Spring 2021, the Government plans to start vaccinating the 21 million people who comprise the rest of the adult population.
Although the priority list hasn’t been decided yet, workers such as teachers, police officers and supermarket staff could be prioritised.
It is not known yet whether children could also be vaccinated in the future.
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