There is optimism that a COVID-19 vaccine could soon be approved for use and that some people could be vaccinated against the virus before the end of the year.
A number of potential vaccines are in late-stage trials and a vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech was recently revealed to offer ‘90% protection’.
So, if a vaccine does come available, who could be able to receive it and in what order?
People living and working in care homes to be first in line for the vaccine
Currently, there is a priority list with the population split up into 8 categories. On that list, older adults residing in care homes and care home workers would be the highest priority for receiving the vaccine, whereas people under the age of 50 years old would be the lowest priority.
The current prioritisation order is as follows;
- older adults’ resident in a care home and care home workers
- all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over
- all those 65 years of age and over
- high-risk adults under 65 years of age
- moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age
- 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
The order could yet change if vaccines become available but are less effective in adults. However, providing the vaccine is effective for older adults, they are likely to be amongst the first to receive it.
According to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the first phase of a vaccine being rolled out would most likely focus on older people who are at most risk from COVID-19. This would eventually cover around 99% of all of the people at risk of dying from Coronavirus.
The vaccination of young people, if completed, would be in phase 2.
Would young people get vaccinated?
It is unknown whether young people may get vaccinated from the virus and at least in the next few months, this seems unlikely.
While not immune, young people are less likely to become seriously ill from the virus as so have been made a lower priority for receiving a vaccine.