As you will have seen, the Government announced that the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been approvedand rollout will start this month.
This follows the approval of the vaccine as safe and effective by the MHRA, the independent regulator and was endorsed by the JVCI, which said that both vaccines offer a high level of protection against Covid-19 and have good safety records.
This is a major development and will mean the vaccination programme can be expanded to reach significantly more people. Local authorities are waiting for confirmation of how quickly additional supplies may be available so that they can finalise plans for rolling this out as extensively as possible over the coming weeks.
As the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is much easier to store and transport than the Pfizer BionTech vaccine, it will be able to be offered from a much wider range of locations.
MHRA confirms vaccine does not contain animal products
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has confirmed that the COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain any components of animal origin. Further information can be found on the gov.uk website (scroll to the bottom of the web page).
Updated guidance has also been published on increased spacing of second vaccine doses for both vaccines. Going forward, people’s second appointment will be up to 12 weeks after their first dose. These developments will enable the NHS to accelerate vaccine delivery, but it is still early days and details of supply are yet to be confirmed.
The aim, is to vaccinate at-risk groups as fast as supply makes possible, in line with the JCVI’s prioritisation. We are currently prioritising:
- care home residents and staff
- people aged 80 and over (including the housebound)
- frontline health and social care staff
The vaccine will then be offered to other groups of the population in order, to protect those at highest risk first. When it’s your turn, you will be invited by your GP for an appointment. You do not need to contact your practice or the NHS.
Information in different languages
GPs from Bradford are working to help communities understand more about the coronavirus vaccine by making short videos in different languages. You can watch them and share from this YouTube playlist
Several of our local GPs have also received their own vaccinations to protect themselves and their patients from COVID-19. You can watch videos of them talking about this on this YouTube playlist
There are also BBC videos in a range of languages explaining why vaccines are important in the fight against coronavirus: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55171293
We are still gathering views on vaccination at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BDC19