Yesterday, the Health Service Journal delivered the most positive scoop of the week, revealing NHS England’s draft plan to roll out Covid-19 vaccines to all adults in England from January 2021, and to have all over-18s in England who want one, vaccinated by April 2021. Each vaccination requires two doses, taken 28 days apart. The NHS expects to deliver 7 million doses to 3.5 million people in December alone, followed by 4-5 million more every single week from January.
Thus, the “Moonshot” plan is to deliver 88.5 million vaccination doses – to over 44 million people – all by the end of April. The rollout timetable is as follows:
- Care home residents and staff, healthcare workers – from the beginning of December;
- Ages 80 plus – from mid-December;
- Everyone aged 70-80 – from late December;
- Everyone aged 65-70 – from early January;
- All high and moderate risk under 65s – from early January;
- Everyone aged 50-65 – from mid-January; and
- Everyone aged 18-50 – from late January; but with the bulk of this group vaccinated during March.
Although the HSJ article does not mention the other three nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, I am assuming that this roll-out programme will also cover the 7-8 million people of their populations in the same age-groups (excluding under 18 year olds) and timescale.
In view of the Government’s lamentable record in managing most aspects of the pandemic, it remains to be seen if it is capable of delivering this extraordinarily ambitious programme. Again, only time will tell.