Can I get my second vaccine early?

Blackburn: ‘We won't waste vaccine’ says vaccination director

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The UK’s vaccine programme is currently one of the world’s most successful. Health officials have inoculated 30 million people with their first dose and more than 20 million with their second. But a rising tide of B1.617.2 variant cases in the country has left people questioning whether the Government needs to push harder.

The Indian Covid variant has established a foothold in the UK, with more than 2,000 cases countrywide.

Data from some 20 areas have shown cases rising in recent days, including Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Bedford, Sefton and Hart.

England has born the brunt, with 86 of 343 local authorities affected, and officials are searching for ways to cut off the transmission.

Vaccines have proven successful so far, and the Government has adapted its programme to provide extensive second dose coverage.

Can I get my second vaccine early?

Some people will find they can receive their second Covid vaccine dose within eight weeks instead of the standard 12.

The Government has directed its new advice at the most vulnerable groups.

Anyone aged 50 and over and those in specified vaccine priority groups should have their appointments accelerated.

Clinically vulnerable groups, which include the chronically sick and immunocompromised, also get preferential treatment.

Vaccine priority groups include:

  • Care home residents and staff
  • Everyone over 80 years old and frontline health/social care workers
  • Everyone aged 75 and over
  • Everyone aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable people
  • Everyone aged 65 and over
  • Adults aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group
  • Everyone aged 60 and over
  • Everyone aged 55 and over
  • Everyone aged 50 and over

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The NHS will contact anyone included in the new advice, according to its vaccine booking website.

They explained the accelerated schedule would reduce the risk of “getting seriously ill” and “get maximum protection” earlier.

The site added people should wait for someone to contact them if they believe they fall into any of the specified groups.

Anyone whose appointment falls on or before May 24 should stick to their schedule unless told otherwise.

The latest advice comes from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation JCVI), which made its recommendation considering the B1.617.2 “variant of concern”.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair of the organisation, made several other recommendations to augment the vaccine programme.

She said: “Alongside these measures, the vaccine programme should continue to be rolled out as quickly as possible.

“The capacity of vaccination centres should be maximised to enable rapid rollout.”

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