According to recent reports, all UK adults could have their first dose of the COVID vaccine by May, 2021
The UK Government push to vaccinate all vulnerable, older adults by 15 February is currently close to fruition. The roll-out speed of the vaccine has been lauded by Cabinet Ministers, as the UK appears to have enough stock to continue vaccinating the highly-vulnerable.
Sam Coates, Sky news, writes: “Where could this all get the government? There are some in Whitehall who say there is now the realistic prospect that every adult might have been offered the first jab by the start of May.”
This timeline was further confirmed by Politico’s Alex Wickham, who said that there was now a “belief” that May could be a “realistic target to complete all adult vaccinations”, but only if the current momentum of vaccination stays as it is.
The South African mutation as an obstacle
A singular obstacle to the vaccination system is in the speed and unusual nature of the South African mutation, which appears to be spreading in certain neighbourhoods in the UK. These places will be targeted with door-to-door testing, in an effort to control the highly infectious mutation.
These are the impacted postcodes:
- East of England (EN10)
- London (W7, N17, CR4)
- North West (PR9)
- South East (ME15, GU21)
- West Midlands (WS2)
Currently, the borders of the UK remain open with no hotel quarantine plan until 15 February. Home Secretary Priti Patel and Health Secretary Matt Hancock are both in opposition to the Prime Minister on this plan, asking for the borders to be entirely shut to prevent any further cases of the highly infectious mutation.
The vaccine hesitancy of the BAME population
Currently, vaccine take-up in the hardest hit minority group is lower than in the white population. This is a result of various things; misinformation about the science of the vaccine, rumours about Government intention, a historical precedent of healthcare inequality and worries about the contents of the vaccine. The situation is socially complex, but requires intervention as soon as possible to make sure that all the vulnerable groups are immunised against COVID-19.
Currently, the UK Government has given £23 million to local councils, to sponsor a Community Champion initiative that would see individuals talking to reluctant groups.
This may be a good idea, but it is yet to impact the percentages of those accepting the vaccine.
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