Over ten million people have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Now, many people lower down on the priority list are wondering when they could get their doses.
Luckily, a vaccine calculator has been invented for this exact purpose.
The first person to receive their vaccine in the UK was immunised in December last year, after the Pfizer vaccine was shown to be more than 90% effective at protecting people from coronavirus. Shortly followed by the Oxford vaccine, which was first distributed in January, these two vaccines are currently the only ones being used in this country. But with plans to have every eligible adult in the UK vaccinated by September 2021, according to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, more vaccines are being approved every week to fight the virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock applauded NHS vaccination programme recently, as a record-breaking number of jabs were delivered in just one day. “I’m so proud of the team, who’ve now vaccinated 9.2 million people across the UK, that includes 931,204 vaccinations just this weekend.” He said, “And to put that into context – that’s one in every 60 adults in the whole United Kingdom vaccinated in one single weekend. It’s a mammoth effort.”
Also in positive news, the Oxford vaccine was found to have a “substantial” effect on reducing transmission of the virus recently. While it was clear that the vaccine worked to prevent those who had been vaccinated, it wasn’t evident that it would stop them from passing the virus on. It’s now been suggested that vaccinated people are also less likely to pass on the virus.
It was also discovered that this particular vaccine would protect people by up to 70% after just one dose, increasing to over 80% effectiveness with the ‘booster’ second dose.
So with with all this good news and a glimpse into what to expect after Covid vaccinations are available, here’s how can you find out when you’ll get the vaccine.
Where to find the vaccine calculator for the UK
The Omni Vaccine Queue Calculator is online and free to use for people in the UK.
Currently, anyone between the ages of 18 and 50 (without any risk factors) is set to have the first dose of their vaccine between May 4 and June 24 2021. The second dose will then come anytime between July 27 and September 16 2021.
However as this is based on the government’s figures and then put through the calculator. It’s entirely dependent on the continued success of the vaccine roll-out, which means it’s subject to change. Currently, the calculator is working with the immunisation plan of close to 3 million people vaccinated per week and a vaccination update of 70.6%.
To use the calculator, you have to put in a range of information to determine your place in the queue, including: age, whether you’re a care home or health worker, if you’re currently pregnant, have any underlying health conditions and more. It then works out roughly where you could be in the queue to receive a dose, based on the government’s vaccination dashboard.
This is the best way to figure out when you’ll get the Covid-19 vaccine, as there hasn’t been any official dates released for when the NHS will move on to vaccinating other priority groups.
What is the priority order for vaccines in the UK?
The current priority order for the vaccines is:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- Anyone 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
- Everyone 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- Anyone 50 years of age and over
- Rest of the population
Under the current government target of 2 million vaccine doses per week, all those in the top 4 priority groups for the vaccine should be immunised by February 15.
Matt Hancock recently confirmed that the NHS was on target to achieve this goal, with over half of people in their 70s now given the Covid-19 vaccine.
However, the ‘rollout of vaccine’ filters on the calculator are adjustable for a reason. Although it looks like the NHS could be on track to deliver 15 million vaccines by the spring, with 10 million down and counting, some people doubt that it will happen. According to YouGov poll from early January, only three in ten people believed that the government would actually achieve the goal, with only one in seven people expecting the restrictions to end in the next few months.
It comes as Boris Johnson has announced that March 8 is a potential date to start lifting the restrictions after the third UK lockdown. This was also the date given for when kids might be able to go back to school after the lockdown.
Which vaccines have been approved in the UK?
The UK has ordered 407 million doses of seven different vaccines in total from all over the world. As well as the BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, this number includes:
- Moderna vaccine: 17 million doses ordered, approved but not being rolled out in the UK yet.
- Novavax: 60 million doses ordered, phase three trials in progress.
- Janssen: 30 million doses ordered, phase three trials in progress.
- GSK/Sanofi: 60 million doses ordered, phase one and two trials in progress.
- Valneva: 100 million doses ordered, phase one and two trials in progress.
This is more vaccines doses than there are people in the country, as Matt Hancock said in a recent press conference, so the UK will help supply the vaccine to other parts of the world.
“This is obviously more than the UK population needs.” He said, “And my attitude has always been we protect every UK citizen as fast as we can. And at the same time, we’re generous around the world.
“I want to say this to our international partners. Of course, I’m delighted about how well this is going at home. But I believe fundamentally that the vaccine roll out is a global effort.
“One of the many reasons that I’m so happy with the AstraZenenca contract is that it not just that it gives us a strong supply here but because it is the only vaccine being deployed that’s available to the whole world at cost.
“And because it’s logistically straightforward, it can be practically deployed in the poorest parts of the world too.
“So, we will protect UK supply and we’ll play our part to ensure the whole world can get the jab.”
When will over 60s get the Covid vaccine?
According to the vaccine calculator, those over 60 years old (without any risk factors) and under 70 will receive their first dose of the vaccine between April 3 2021 and April 16 2021. However, this is subject to change if the government’s vaccine plan changes.
The best way to check when you’ll be likely to receive the vaccine is to take a look at the calculator yourself, or wait for a call from your local GP.
What is the vaccine booking service?
While those under 50 might have to wait a while for their vaccine, the good news is that a vaccine booking service will soon be launched in the UK.
Announced by Boris Johnson on January 7, the new system will hopefully make the process of getting the vaccination easier in the future.
The prime minister said, “Our new national booking service will also make it easier to book and access appointments so I urge everyone to come forward.”
He also said that he hoped to “accelerate the pace of the vaccination in care homes” with the distribution of the second vaccine now available, and confirmed the government’s target of vaccines for all elderly people in care homes by the end of this month.