Already rolling up your sleeve in anticipation of the UK’s big vaccination drive? Well, while it’s definitely very good news that the Oxford vaccine is finally reaching GP surgeries today (Thursday January 7), you might still be a little way off your big jab day out. Here’s what we know so far about the Covid-19 vaccination rollout in London and beyond.
When will I get the vaccine in London?
You’ve probably heard a bit about ‘vaccine groups’ in the past few weeks. The government has decided to prioritise administering the vaccine to the elderly and vulnerable as well as frontline health and social care staff. As such, it’s created groups to define who will get innoculated first.
It’s hoped that the first phase of the vaccine rollout, which started in December, will protect 99 percent of the ‘at-risk’ population. It will target these ‘priority groups’ as follows:
1. Residents in care homes and staff working in care homes
2. 80+ years of age and frontline health and social care workers
3. 75+ years of age
4. 70+ years of age and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
5. 65+ years of age
6. At-risk 16-to-65 years of age
7. 60+ years of age
8. 55+ years of age
9. 50+ years of age
At the time of writing, the NHS is still currently working through groups one and two. When the rest of the population will be inoculated is still to be determined – although phase two of the rollout will likely target those at an occupational risk to exposure, such as teachers and transport staff.
While far from official, somebody has created an online calculator based on the current rate of vaccination that tries to predict when you’ll be getting yours. We can practically taste the freedom!
Where will I need to go to get the vaccine?
It’ll be a combination of GP surgeries and pharmacies, hospitals and brand-new vaccination hubs, with a big push now underway to create vaccination centres across the country to help speed up the process. After all, each patient will require two doses of the vaccine across a 12-week period. While the NHS is overseeing the programme, it’ll involve doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and health specialists administering the vaccination, as well as vaccinators targeted for recruitment to the cause.
In London, it’s been announced that part of the all-new Nightingale Hospital at ExCel London will be transformed into a ‘mega-centre’. Meanwhile, London’s nightclubs and football stadiums are among places stepping up to offer up their venues as centres while they remain closed to the public and empty in lockdown.
NB: those who are housebound or currently shielding will have GPs visit them to get their jab.
How will I know when it’s my turn to get vaccinated?
The NHS will contact people individually with details of where and when their vaccine will take place when the time comes.
You’ll need to be registered with a GP in England for them to reach you. Londoners, it might be a good time to register with your local doc if you haven’t already. Not sure how to? Read up here.