Breaking News :

Covid: When will I get the vaccine?

image copyrightGetty Images

Vaccine experts have told the government some children should be offered Covid jabs, to protect them ahead of winter.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi is due to tell MPs about the government’s plans on Monday afternoon.

Mr Zahawi told the BBC the recommendations from the Join Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) include offering vaccinations to children who:

are within three months of turning 18 are vulnerable to Covid live with people who are clinically vulnerable

He said a decision to jab other children aged 12-17 would be “kept under review”.

Current advice is that 16- to 18-year-olds can be offered a Pfizer jab if they are in a priority group or live with someone who has a weakened immune system. The Pfizer jab is approved as safe for 12 to 15-year-olds in the UK.

Mr Zahawi said there was “good data from America” on giving a first dose to healthy children, but the JCVI was keeping the issue under review as data on second jabs is not complete.

He said there was concern about very rare cases of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle in younger people.

All over-18s in the UK can get a vaccine.

In England you can book a jab either online or by calling 119. You can also visit a walk-in clinic without an appointment. Check your local health providers and social media groups for detailsIn Scotland, you can register to get the vaccine on the NHS inform website or by calling 0800 030 8013. Most health boards have drop-in vaccination clinicsIn Wales, contact your local health board if you think you have been missedIn Northern Ireland, book online or call 0300 200 7813

image copyrightGetty Images

In England, the gap between first and second jabs has been reduced to eight weeks for those under 40.

The NHS will contact patients directly in England, but you can also rearrange your appointment yourself online, or by calling 119.

A number of walk-in clinics offer second doses without appointment. Again, check local health providers and social media groups.

In Scotland anyone whose second appointment is more than eight weeks after their first can rebook it via the NHS Inform website or by calling 0800 030 8013.

In Wales, the government says vaccination clinics “are accelerating second doses”, and people will be contacted by their local health boards in due course.

Millions of people most vulnerable to Covid-19 may be offered a third vaccination from September.

The JCVI has issued new guidance on who should get booster jabs, if data suggests they are needed.

It says third jabs should be offered to prolong the benefits of the first and second injections.

The JCVI will publish final plans before September, taking into account:

the latest Covid situation data from re-vaccination trialshow well the vaccines are working over time emerging variants

image copyrightGetty Images

The JCVI says a booster vaccine and the annual flu jab should be offered as soon as possible from September to:

immuno-suppressed adults aged 16 and overthose living in residential care homes for older adultsall adults aged 70 or overadults aged 16 and over considered clinically extremely vulnerablefrontline health and social care workers

The JCVI says the following groups should be offered a third booster with “equal emphasis” on giving the flu vaccine as well:

all adults aged 50 and overall adults aged 16-49 years in an influenza or Covid-19 “at-risk group” adult household contacts of immuno-suppressed individuals

Most younger adults will receive their second Covid-19 vaccine dose in late summer, so the benefits of booster vaccination in this group will be considered by the JCVI at a later date.

Boosters should ensure protection built up in the population does not decline through the winter months – and that immunity is maximised to provide additional resilience against variants.

image copyrightGetty Images

For most people, getting vaccinated is not mandatory, although the government is urging everyone who can have the vaccine to get it.

Vaccinations will be compulsory for staff at care homes in England, and may be extended to include more NHS staff.

Some private companies have said their staff must be vaccinated, including the publisher Bloomsbury, Pimlico Plumbers, and the airline Cathay Pacific.

In addition, a number of countries are only allowing fully-vaccinated travellers to enter.

The UK is using vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNtech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Moderna.

People under 40 are being offered Pfizer or Moderna rather than Oxford-AstraZeneca because of concerns about a possible connection with extremely rare cases of blood clots.

But the UK’s medicines regulator says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for most people.

A single-dose Covid vaccine made by Janssen has also been approved for use in the UK by the medicines regulator. Twenty million doses are due to arrive later this year.

The Delta variant is believed to be around 60% more infectious than the previous dominant variant in the UK, the Alpha. It’s also thought to be twice as likely to result in hospital admissions.

However, analysis by Public Health England (PHE) shows that two doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective at preventing hospital admissions for infected patients.

Vaccine developers are able to update their jabs to target new variants. Oxford researchers have begun to test a new version of the AZ vaccine (targeting the Beta variant first detected in South Africa) in volunteers. Results are expected later this year.

At present, official guidance says everyone should get the same vaccine for both doses. But in rare circumstances – if only one vaccine is available, or it’s not known which was given for the first dose – a different vaccine can be used.

If you have already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should also have a second dose. Only those who suffered a rare blood clot should not, the regulator says.

The UK has ordered eight vaccines and expects to receive 517 million doses.

These include another 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine (on top of the original order of 40 million) to be used as part of a booster programme in the autumn.

Vaccines supplied by CureVac will be designed to protect against the most concerning new variants.

The UK’s vaccine committee says pregnant women should be offered a jab.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are preferable, they say, because data relating to 90,000 pregnant women has not raised any safety concerns.

Data on how the AZ vaccine works in pregnant women may become available in the near future.

A very small number of people have experienced a severe allergic reaction – known as anaphylaxis – after the Pfizer vaccine.

You should discuss any serious allergies with your healthcare professional before being vaccinated.

Most people will not be affected in any way, although side-effects with all vaccines are possible.

The most common ones include a sore arm, headache, chills, fatigue and nausea.

They are part of the body’s normal immune response to vaccines and tend to resolve within a day or two.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Read Previous

NYPD officer uses crisp packet to save stabbing victim

Read Next

5 Texas Democrats who fled their state to stall a voting bill test positive in Washington.