The NHS is planning to distribute a vaccine against coronavirus by the end of April across England, reports suggest.
It was reported in the Health Service Journal that the whole adult population will be able to begin receiving the vaccine by the end of January, depending on the arrival of supplies.
Under the proposals, everyone who wants to have the jab would have been vaccinated by early April, reports the Liverpool Echo.
The HSJ has said it has seen a copy of NHS England’s draft covid-19 vaccine deployment programme, which includes the plans of when different age groups are likely to be offered a vaccine.
The NHS is preparing to create huge capacity for delivering vaccines, with ‘large-scale mass vaccination sites’ set up and ‘roving’ facilities for those who cannot travel.
Plans do rely on supplies, including more than 7 million doses being available in December of this year.
The draft plan reportedly sets out which groups will get the vaccine at which stage.
This will begin with care home residents. social care workers and healthcare workers at the start of December.
The HSJ reports that the dates pencilled in for beginning each group 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
Everyone aged 18-50 – from late January; but with the bulk of this group vaccinated during March
The overall plan would aim for 88.5 million vaccination doses delivered across England, with two doses offered to every person over the age of 18 by the end of April.
For both the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – the jabs the UK is banking on – doses must be taken 28 days apart, according to the draft document.
The plan also states that: “Eligible individuals will be able to book a vaccine at any available vaccination site of their choice irrespective of distance from their home address.”