The NHS could vaccinate the entire English population by the end of April 2021

Friday, 20th November 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 3:47 pm

The NHS is planning to have the entire adult population in England vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of April, according to new leaked documents.

Information allegedly seen by the Health Service Journal suggests that the NHS will begin rolling out a coronavirus vaccination from the start of December, depending on the availability of supplies.

The vaccine will be available to anyone who wants it - but its effectiveness will depend on a 75 per cent take-up among the population, and a 100 per cent take-up in residential settings, such as care homes.

The plan also relies on supplies of the vaccine being readily available, and more than seven million doses would be required in December.

Huge capacity for vaccination will be created across GP-run facilities, NHS trusts, “large scale mass vaccination sites” and "roving models" for anyone who is not able to travel, according to the leaked information.

When might I be vaccinated?

The document (dated 13 November) lays out the timescale for vaccination, including when each population group would expect to receive the vaccine. Each cohort can be vaccinated simultaneously, so it doesn't matter if one group isn't finished before the next begins.

Under the plan, all priority cohorts would be completed by the end of February 2021, and any over-18s who want to be vaccinated ticked off by April. This is the suggested order of population groups:

Care home staff, residents and healthcare workers: from beginning of December80+ year olds: from mid-December70-80 year olds: from late December65-70 year olds: from early JanuaryHigh and moderate risk people under 65: from early January50-65 year olds: from mid January18-50 year olds: from late January - with bulk of this group vaccinated in March

In total, 88.5 million doses of the vaccination will be delivered across England, with two doses per person for over 18s by the end of April.

The leaked document does, however, stress that this plan is contingent on supply, some unknown factors about the logistics of delivery, and government decisions about which group to prioritise. The plan is also subject to data from trials and licensing by regulators.