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All English adults will be eligible to receive a Covid vaccine by the end of January, leaked documents have reportedly revealed.
The NHS plan for rolling out coronavirus vaccines, which has reportedly been seen by the Health Service Journal, reveals that everyone who wants one could be vaccinated by early April.
NHS England’s draft Covid-19 vaccine deployment programme is based on the NHS plan to create huge capacity across GP-run facilities, “large scale mass vaccination sites”, NHS trusts, and “roving models” for those who cannot travel.
The plan assumes there will be 100% takeup in residential settings like care homes and prisons and 75% takeup within wider society.
It also relies on more than seven million doses of vaccines being available in December as well as access to other supplies.
The leaked report's dates pencilled in for beginning each group's vaccination are:
- Care home residents and staff, healthcare workers – from beginning of December;
- Ages 80 plus – from mid-December;
- Everyone aged 70-80 – from late December;
- Everyone aged 65-70 – from early January;
- All high and moderate risk under 65s – from early January;
- Everyone aged 50-65 – from mid January; and
- Everyone aged 18-50 – from late January; but with the bulk of this group vaccinated during March.
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The draft plan is for 88.5 million vaccination doses to be delivered across England, with two doses per person over the age of 18, by the end of April.
Doses must be given 28 days apart for both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the document.
The plan is based on current supply intelligence, subject to data from trials and licensing by regulators, to some unknowns about logistics of delivery, and government decisions about priority groups.
The head of England's biggest NHS hospital trust has said in a "best-case scenario" it could take until April to vaccinate enough people to make a difference against Covid.
Dr David Rosser, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust chief executive, said: "It's pretty clear vaccination is not going to appear en masse until probably the beginning of February at the earliest.
"It is encouraging, (that) there are signs we might have some vaccine to vaccinate care home residents and the most vulnerable before then.
"But the big truckloads of stuff is not going to come in before February – that seems pretty clear."
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