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NHS begins work on co-ordination of mass vaccination programme

While it is not expected that a Covid-19 vaccine will be widely available until 2021, the Government has asked the NHS to be ready to deliver a vaccination programme for England from December 2020, so that those who need it most will be able to access vaccinations as soon as they are available.

Detailed planning has been underway, both on a national and local level, building on the expertise and strong track record the NHS already has in delivering immunisations like the annual flu vaccination programme, to ensure that a Covid-19 vaccination programme does not impact on other vital services.

These immunisations normally happen in settings like GP practices and community pharmacies and it is the intention that the Covid-19 vaccination will be delivered in a similar way. 

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on the priority groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine when it is ready, advising that vaccines should first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people aged over 80 and health and social workers, before being rolled out to the rest of the population in order of age and risk.

To learn more about the Covid-19 vaccination programme, please see this briefing from NHS England / Improvement.