Over-40s set for COVID vaccines from this week – but many could face longer wait

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·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
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An NHS nurse gives Agata Skorynko, aged 41, a Covid-19 vaccination on board a modified bus, in the car park of the University of Greenwich, London. Picture date: Saturday February 13, 2021. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Coronavirus vaccines are set to be offered to over-40s from this week. (Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)

Coronavirus vaccines could be offered to over-40s from Tuesday – though supply constraints mean many will have to wait longer.

More than 32 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of the vaccine. It's the equivalent of the number identified as belonging in the phase one priority groups of over-50s, care home residents, clinically extremely vulnerable people, over-16s with underlying health conditions, and frontline health and social care workers.

That means phase two, beginning with people aged 40 to 49, is set to commence imminently and The Times has reported this is due to happen on Tuesday.

However, the paper reported the first set of appointments could only be for people aged 49, with younger people asked to book for later in the month.

Last month, the NHS warned of a “significant reduction in weekly supply” throughout April, meaning volumes for first doses will be “significantly constrained”.

Available vaccines are instead being prioritised for second doses this month, with a record 475,230 people getting theirs on Saturday.

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The government has not made a formal announcement about the beginning of phase two, only that it is "on course" to have offered a jab to everyone in the phase one groups by Thursday and everyone in phase two – people over 18 – by the end of July.

It comes as a third approved jab by Moderna is set to be rolled out in England this week, having been administered first in Wales last week.

The first UK Moderna vaccine, which follows the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, was given to 24-year-old carer Elle Taylor in Carmarthen on Wednesday.

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