Why is there a delay between the first and second jabs?
Regulators said the key to success would be to give two full doses between four and 12 weeks apart, to give as many people as possible the initial dose of the vaccine, which offers some protection against the virus.
However, the deployment of second doses has been accelerated for those over 50 years of age following concerns about the spread of the Indian variant.
One study found that a single dose of the Oxford vaccine was 76% effective in repelling infection between 22 days and 90 days after injection, rising to 82.4% after a second dose at this point. Researchers involved in the trial said the results support the UK’s decision to extend the interval between initial doses and booster doses of the vaccine to 12 weeks.
While another study found that a single dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine provided a “very high” level of protection against Covid-19 after just 21 days, without the need for a second “complementary vaccination” “.
The UEA study, which has not yet been peer reviewed, looked at data from Israel where the vaccine was deployed. Scientists have found that the vaccine becomes 90% effective after 21 days – supporting UK plans to delay the timing of a second vaccine.
Those who received the Pfizer vaccine were 49% less likely to pass the virus to others in their household, while transmission fell by 38% for those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to data published on May 20 by PHE, two weeks after the first dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, the chances of contracting a symptomatic Covid dropped by nearly 60%, a second dose bringing this rate to 90%.
PHE data looked at cases of coronavirus in people aged 65 and older, who were among the first groups to get vaccinated.
While it is not yet known how long immunity lasts beyond 21 days without a second dose, researchers believe it is “unlikely” to decline significantly over the next nine weeks.
Read more: From transmission to efficacy, Oxford, Pfizer and other Covid vaccines compared
How will I be asked to be vaccinated?
The NHS will contact you when you are eligible for the vaccine and you will be asked to make an appointment.
If you are registered with a general practitioner, your practice will contact you by phone, SMS, e-mail or post, in order to book to receive a vaccine at your local vaccination center.
You can always register with a medical office if you are not already registered with a practice, and it is advisable to make sure that your contact details are up to date to make sure there are no delays.
However, if you are over 50 and still have not accepted an offer for a vaccine, the government urges you to contact your GP.
You can also check if you are eligible and find an appointment using the NHS vaccination booking service.
Three delivery methods
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there would be “three modes of delivery,” with hospitals and mass vaccination centers as well as pharmacists and general practitioners offering the vaccine.
A total of 250 active hospital sites, 89 vaccination centers and around 1,600 local vaccination sites – including mosques, museums and rugby fields, as well as pharmacies – have been set up to ensure that every person at risk easy access to a vaccination center. , no matter where they live.
Sites across the country, including the ExCel in London, the Etihad Tennis Center in Manchester and Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, have been turned into vaccination centers and have been administering vaccines since January 25.
The Prime Minister also announced the formation of an “Antivirals Task Force”, which will be launched with the aim of developing at least two effective treatments against Covid by the end of the year.
What about the new variant of the coronavirus? Will the vaccine still protect us?
The emergence of new strains of Covid-19, such as the South African, Indian and Brazilian variants, have threatened to undermine the gains of the vaccine and testing in recent months.
But the vaccines appear to prevent 97% of infections with the Indian variant, according to real world data, with no known death case among fully vaccinated people in the UK.
The Indian variant has spread three times faster than other imported strains, figures from Public Health England showed on May 12, and is now dominant in several Covid-19 hotspots in the north-west of England.
The strain was turned into a “variant of concern” by PHE on May 7, based on evidence suggesting that it is at least as transmissible as a strain known as the Kent variant.
Bolton, where the so-called Indian variant has been identified, has the highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in the UK. A total of 1,300 new cases recorded in the seven days to May 21 – the equivalent of 452.1 per 100,000 people. That’s an increase from 300.8 the week before and the highest from the seven days to November 12.
But the number of Covid-19 hospitals in the borough is still less than a third of the peak of the pandemic, according to Manchester City Council chief Sir Richard Leese.