Who can now book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination?
We’re moving into a new phase of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in England that will potentially affect our older relatives and ourselves.
- Those who are over 70 and haven’t yet been invited for a jab are being asked to book an appointment rather than waiting to hear from their GP
- Those in the top four priority groups should also come forward to book an appointment. As well as the over 70s, these include care home residents and staff, frontline health and social care workers, and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
- Those over 65 will start receiving invitations from 15th February.
Meanwhile the government has committed to offering the vaccine to all those over 50 by May and all adults by September.
How to book a vaccination for Groups 1-4
The rules on who’s invited when aren’t hard and fast. Some areas of the country seem to be moving faster than others, but this is the general plan. The advice is also a little confusing, so for further information we’ve listed some original UK governments at the end of this article for further reading.
- Over 70s. People aged 70 and over in England have been asked to contact the NHS to arrange their jab. They can do this through the online national booking service, of if they cannot get online they can dial 119 or contact their local GP practice.
- Care workers. Health and social care workers should speak to their employer if they have not had their vaccine yet – although there does seem to be an option of using the online booking service directly.
- Extremely vulnerable. GP teams have been asked to contact their clinically extremely vulnerable patients to make sure they have been offered a jab.
Exactly who falls into these groups is still a little confusing, and charities have called for clarity around who should be included in the programme.
It appears that GPs can add people to the priority list at their own discretion, but not all are aware of this, and some people have been turned down for priority status, according to a report in The Guardian.
Groups 5-6 are next on the list
The next stage involves priority groups 5 and 6 – people aged 65 and over, and those aged 16-64 who are at high risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19 because of serious underlying health conditions.
Group 6 contains an estimated 7.3 million people and is by far the largest of the remaining priority groups.
As ever, information published on uk.gov is actually only applicable to England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own information resources. But if you want to know more about plans for vaccinations in England, as of 14 Feb 2021, these resources may help.
- Who’s in which priority group for vaccinations from Group 1 to 10?
- UK government information on people who have, or care for, someone with a learning disability
- Sporting legends led by Sir Geoff Hurst urge over 70s to get Coronavirus vaccination
- Nationwide drive to urge vaccine take-up in priority groups
- From vaccination buses to WhatsApp groups and charity engagement, the new COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan aims to boost vaccine uptake in vulnerable and under-served groups.
About the different vaccines is a simple comparison table we published in our News section last week.