By August, the whole adult population of the UK might have the Covid jab.
Though government ministers have raised the possibility of ever over-18 being offered the jab by September, there’s tentative evidence to suggest this date could come earlier. Yesterday, Dr Clive Dix – the man who’s been running the vaccine procurement strategy for the UK – told Sky News that every UK adult could have both doses of the jab by August, which would be a huge step towards a post-pandemic normal.
At present, 15.5 million UK residents have had their first Covid vaccine, with over half a million having had their second dose too. These people fall into the top four vulnerable categories: older care home residents and carers, over-80s and frontline health and social care staff, over-75s, and the over-70s and extremely clinically vulnerable. The vaccine rollout will proceed through vulnerable categories in order of decreasing risk, with the government setting a new target of every over-50 (plus vulnerable adults) vaccinated by May – which would be around 32 million people vaccinated.
Once the over-50s have been vaccinated, attention will turn to getting the remainder of the adult population the jab. And whilst this online Covid calculator has been predicting when we might get the vaccine, the August deadline gives us a little more concrete hope. Dr Dix noted that the UK had over 100 million doses on order, and said he believed that August was a reasonable deadline to get every UK adult both of their doses – especially with further vaccines moving towards approval, and supplies of the already-approved Moderna vaccine heading to the UK in the spring.
Though there are certain caveats to be aware of (the possibility of further virus mutations, and the fact that initial protection from the virus isn’t thought to develop until three weeks after the jab), we’ll be keeping our fingers firmly crossed that’s the case!