COVID-19: How government plans to offer vaccinations to entire UK adult population - in phases

·3-min read

The government has set out how it plans to offer coronavirus vaccines to the whole of the adult population in the UK by the autumn.

Ministers have set a deadline of the spring to complete phase one of the vaccine schedule, aimed at inoculating 32 million people.

Under the rollout, the government hopes to offer almost 15 million people in the first four priority groups a vaccine jab by mid-February.

Those groups are care home residents and staff; all those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers; people aged 75 and over; everyone aged 70 and over and individuals classed as extremely vulnerable.

This would be followed by everyone aged over 50, as well as anyone under-65 deemed at risk, being offered a jab by spring - another 17 million.

According to the UK COVID-19 Vaccines Delivery Plan, the government will work with the NHS, devolved administrations, local councils, and the armed forces to open new vaccination sites and ramp up the number of jabs going into people's arms.

To stay on track, two million jabs a week will need to be carried out by the end of January.

Here are the targets the government has set itself:

  • More than 2,700 vaccination sites across the UK

  • This will be helped by establishing 206 hospital hubs, 50 mass vaccination centres (seven have been announced so far), and around 1,200 local vaccination sites - including GPs and pharmacies - by the end of January

  • As a result, everyone in England will be within 10 miles of a vaccination site (compared to 96% of the population currently)

  • For those in highly rural areas, the vaccine will be brought to them via mobile teams

  • A workforce of over 80,000 health professionals will help get jabs into arms, with non-clinical assistance from over 200,000 volunteers who have expressed interest in helping. They will work down the government's vaccine priority list

  • By the end of January, 800,000 care home residents and staff will have been offered a jab

  • By 15 February, 3.8 million frontline health workers, 8.8 million over-70s, and 1.2 million clinically vulnerable under-70s will have been offered a vaccination

  • All the remaining 17 million over-50s in phase one will be offered a vaccine by the spring

Phase two of the vaccination plan will move on to those at high risk of catching the disease such as key public service workers.

By the autumn, the entire UK adult population - around 53 million people in total, will have been offered a vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has pledged, although no firm date has been announced.

Mr Hancock said: "Our UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan maps our route back to normality, but it does not mean we can be complacent and it is mission critical that everybody abides by the restrictions in the coming weeks.

"The next few months will present a significant opportunity to turn the tide of battle against COVID - I am looking forward to watching these plans bring more reassurance and hope back to people's lives after a difficult year."