Vaccine: Shattock says UK working on jab for South Africa variant
According to the latest Government data, the UK has given first vaccine doses to 9,646,715 people as of February 1. Nearly half a million people have also already received their second vaccine dose. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved and rolled out over the last few weeks.
The Government has also approved the Covid vaccine from US pharmaceutical company Moderna.
Further vaccines awaiting approval have also been ordered, such as the Valneva and Novavax vaccines.
The Government placed an order for 40 million more Valneva vaccines this week, bringing the total Valneva vaccines ordered by the UK to 100 million.
The UK is racing to vaccinate as many people as possible, but meanwhile the nation has been placed under a national lockdown.
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Covid cases remain significantly high, and there are also concerns about the prevalence of new Covid variations in the UK.
Eleven cases in the Bristol area have been identified as the variant that originally arose in Kent, but are now showing the E484K mutation.
A cluster of 32 cases in Liverpool also have the same mutation but relate to the original strain of coronavirus that has been around since the start of the pandemic.
The South African Covid variant, which also shows the mutation, is under investigation in at least eight postcode areas of England where cases not related to travel have been found.
A PHE spokesman said: “PHE is monitoring the situation closely and all necessary public health interventions are being undertaken, including enhanced contact tracing and control measures.”
The E484K mutation has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing people contracting coronavirus, but public health experts believe current vaccines will still be effective against strains with the mutation at a lower level.
On Monday Health Secretary Matt Hancock said door-to-door testing will be taking place in eight postcodes across England where the South African variant has been identified.
It is hoped the testing will help to prevent the variant from spreading further.
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Where am I on the Covid vaccine list?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has decided a priority list for Covid vaccinations in the UK.
The priority list is as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults
- All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 years of age and over
- All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 16 years of age)
- All those 65 years of age and over
- Adults aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- All those 60 years of age and over
- All those 55 years of age and over
- All those 50 years of age and over
- Rest of the population (to be determined)
The NHS is currently in the process of vaccinating the top four priority groups in the UK.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at a Downing Street press briefing on February 1 that almost nine in 10 of all those aged over 80 had been vaccinated.
Mr Hancock added that more than half of those in their 70s have also received a vaccine.
Mr Hancock said: “We have visited every single care home with older residents in England and offered vaccinations to all of their residents and staff – this has been an incredible example of health and social care working together.”
In several areas people over the age of 70 and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are also starting to get their vaccines.
People are being asked by the NHS to wait until they are contacted about receiving their Covid vaccines.
But the Omni Covid vaccine calculator can help people estimate when they are likely to be offered their Covid vaccines.
The Omni vaccine calculator can be found HERE.
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