Factbox: How is Britain's vaccine rollout going?

·2-min read
COVID-19 vaccinations in Epsom

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain plans to give the first shot of a coronavirus vaccine to 15 million members of the highest priority groups by mid-February, and to tens of millions more by the spring, to enable it to loosen restrictions imposed to stem a soaring infection rate.

Below are some details of the campaign:

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VACCINATED?

Nearly 2.3 million people have received a first dose and almost 400,000 the booster shot, the government said on Monday.

Some 40% of all over-80s and almost a quarter of older care home residents have received the first dose.

To meet the Feb. 15 target, 2.5 million shots will have to be administered each week.

WHO IS IN THE PRIORITY GROUPS?

1. Older adult care home residents and their carers

2. Those over 80, and front-line health and social care workers

3. Those over 75

4. Those over 70, and clinically vulnerable individuals

The first two groups have begun receiving vaccines.

WHERE WILL THEY BE DELIVERED?

Seven mass vaccination centres - at conference venues, a soccer stadium and a racecourse - started delivering vaccinations on Monday.

More centres will open this week in hospitals, doctors' surgeries and pharmacies, taking the total in England to about 1,200. By the end of the month, over 2,700 will be operating throughout Britain.

In England, no one should be more than 10 miles from a centre. In sparsely populated areas, mobile teams will administer vaccines.

WHICH VACCINES?

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and began administering this shot on Dec. 8.

This vaccine must be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, though it can be kept in a normal fridge for up to five days.

Britain has also ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca's vaccine, which is cheaper and much easier to transport and store, and began administering some of these on Jan. 4.

A Moderna vaccine was approved last week, but delivery is not expected for several weeks.

In all, Britain has ordered seven different types of vaccine, totalling 367 million doses.

DOSING

Pfizer and AstraZeneca's shots are both two-dose vaccines. Britain's guidance says the second shots can be given up to 12 weeks after the first, a regime not tested by Pfizer, which recommends 21 days.

Britain's chief medical officer says the balance of risks supports the move, intended to ensure that the highest number of people receive some measure of protection as soon as possible.

The head of the health service has said that, 12 days after the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, a person might have 90% of its benefit.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kevin Liffey)