COVID-19 Vaccination Q&A

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has started and will build up steadily in the weeks and months ahead. It will gradually be extended to more and more people.

This Q&A uses information provided by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Who is being prioritised to receive a vaccination?

The full prioritisation list can be found here and is as follows (in order of priority):

  • Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  • All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  • All those 75 years of age and over
  • All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  • All those 65 years of age and All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease andmortality
  • All those 60 years of age and over
  • All those 55 years of age and over
  • All those 50 years of age and over

UPDATED 31 December 2020

COVID-19 Vaccines Q&A

When it is the right time people will receive an invitation to come For most people this will be in the form of a letter either from their GP or the national booking system; this will include all the information they need, including their NHS number.

Both vaccines have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect them from

The vaccine is given in two doses and data from clinical trials showed the vaccine is 94 percent effective in protecting people over the age of 65 from coronavirus, with trials suggesting it works equally well in people of all ages, races and there were also no serious safety concerns reported in the trials.

Full protection should begin 7-10 days after the second injection.

The MHRA authorisation includes conditions that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should be administered in two doses, with the second dose given between 4 and 12 weeks after the first.

The MHRA has also clarified that for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the interval between doses must be at least 3 weeks(21 days). This also aligns with the EMA position on the Pfizer vaccine.

For both vaccines, data provided to MHRA demonstrate that whilst efficacy is optimised when a second dose isadministered both offer considerable protection after a single dose, at least in the short term. For both vaccines the second dose completes the course and is likely to be important.

Yes, if they are in a priority group identified by The MHRA have looked at this and decided that getting vaccinated is just as important for those who have already had Covid-19 as it is for those who haven’t.

Any vaccines that are available will have been approved because they pass the MHRA’s tests on safety and efficacy, so people should be assured that whatever vaccine they get will be highly effective and protect themfrom coronavirus.

Every single vaccine authorised for use in the UK has been authorised by the MHRA and the three components ofauthorisation are a safety assessment, an effectiveness assessment and a manufacturing quality

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is rapidly being rolled out across the UK, starting with the highest priority.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine and other candidates will be deployed alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to increase the pace and volume of the UK.

More evidence is needed to understand whether a seasonal vaccination or booster dose might be needed.

The vaccines people are offered will be appropriate for them. This decision is based on clinical judgement supported by the advice of Joint Committee on vaccination and immunisation. This will take into account individual vaccine characteristics, which may mean they are more suitable for some groups of people, and not others – for example, some may be less well tolerated or effective in certain age groups.

When patients are vaccinated, they are likely to receive a vaccine record card that notes the date of their vaccination, the suggested date for their second dose and details of the vaccine type and batch.