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When are the over 40s getting their Covid vaccine?
18 March 2021, 13:10 | Updated: 6 April 2021, 12:06
Health officials have said the number of people getting their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be “constrained” from the end of March due to a “significant reduction” in supply.
The issues - which will have an impact on the over 40s in England getting their Covid vaccine - have reportedly been caused by a shipment of five million doses, produced by the Serum Institiute of India, being delayed at the behest of the Indian government.
A source told The Telegraph the SII would deliver the doses as soon as possible, and this would not “take months”.
But what does this mean for the vaccine rollout and when will the over 40s get their first coronavirus vaccine?
Over 50s and clinically vulnerable prioritised
A letter to regional NHS bosses has said there will be "significant reduction" in the vaccine supply over a "four-week period" from the week beginning March 29.
Local health leaders have been told to focus efforts on the top nine priority groups in the letter, signed by Dr Nikita Kanani, medical director for primary care for the NHS in England, and Emily Lawson, chief commercial officer.
The letter says inviting people for jabs who are not in those groups is "only permissible in exceptional circumstances".
"Those aged 49 years or younger should not be offered vaccination unless they are eligible via a higher cohort", it adds.
This includes if they are "clinically vulnerable, unpaid carer or frontline health and care workers".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We are going to do whatever it takes to reach all those in the most vulnerable groups who haven't come forward yet before we move on to the next cohort, which is people in their 40s.
"Before we forge ahead I want us to be confident that we've done everything we can to protect those most in need of protection and we will do all we can and do everything necessary to deliver the supplies that are contractually committed to protecting people in this country."
When are over 40s getting the Covid vaccine in England?
In the month from March 29 people aged 49 and below are only expected to get the jab if they are in a priority group for the vaccine.
The majority of people in this category will therefore have to wait until May to receive their first dose.
'Still on course'
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC the UK is “still very much on course to meet our objectives”.
He insisted all over-50s are expected to receive a first dose by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.
Mr Jenrick said: “We are still very much on course to meet our objectives, which are to vaccinate all those groups one to nine by the middle of April, those are the people most vulnerable who account for 99% of mortality, and to give every adult in this country their first had by the end of July.”
“Anyone who has an appointment either for their first and more importantly for their second jab will still have those appointments honoured,” he added.
More than 25 million people have received their first vaccine and 1.7 million have had their second vaccine, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.
Officials said that 95% of people aged 65 and over have had their first dose, and nine in 10 of those clinically extremely vulnerable have received a first jab.
Figures show that overall health services across the UK vaccinated 25,273,226 people between December 8 and March 16 with first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.