The AstraZeneca/Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine has reported interim results from a phase 3 trial showing the jab can prevent the majority of people from developing the disease.
But what do these findings mean for people in the UK being vaccinated?
– What’s in the pipeline for the UK?
The Government has secured 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which is almost enough for most of the population.
But officials have also invested in the six other Covid-19 vaccine candidates in development, across four different types, representing more than 340 million doses.
The deals cover four different classes: adenoviral vaccines, mRNA vaccines, inactivated whole virus vaccines and protein adjuvant vaccines.
The UK has secured access to:
– 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine
– Some 30 million doses from Janssen
– 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – the first agreement the firms signed with any government
– Sixty million doses of a vaccine being developed by Valneva
– 60 million doses of protein adjuvant vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur
– Five million doses of the jab on offer from Moderna in the US
– How soon will it be before people are actually being vaccinated?
The military and NHS staff are on standby to roll out a Covid-19 vaccine across the UK from the start of December, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
However, a Covid-19 vaccine is yet to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
But it is thought the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine could be rolled out within weeks if approved, and the company said it was preparing to submit the data to authorities immediately.
Downing Street has also said the UK will have procured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be distributed by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, the Moderna vaccine could arrive in the UK as early as next spring.
If the vaccine development is successful, Valneva will provide 60 million doses in the second half of 2021.
The Government then has options for more than 40 million doses in 2022, and a further 30-90 million doses, in aggregate, across 2023 to 2025.
– Who is top of the list to get a coronavirus vaccine?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.
Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:
– Older adults in a care home and care home workers
– All those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers, though they may move up the list
– Anyone 75 and over
– People aged 70 and over
– All those aged 65 and over
– High-risk adults under 65
– Moderate-risk adults under 65
– All those aged 60 and over
– All those 55 and over
– All those aged 50 and over
– The rest of the population, with priority yet to be determined.
– How will a vaccine be rolled out?
Work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that NHS staff are ready to start delivering jabs to the most vulnerable, as well as health and care workers, as a priority.
Mass vaccination clinics have been proposed, with a number of venues suggested, including sports halls, leisure centres and even the Copper Box stadium in London’s Olympic Park.
The NHS Nightingale Hospitals have also been earmarked as sites for mass vaccination clinics – among other uses.
In addition, NHS leaders have said there will be “roving teams” deployed to vaccinate care home residents and workers.
Based on the current information, the vaccines being developed require two doses per patient, with a 21-28 day gap between doses.
New regulations allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have also been introduced by the Government.