Currently, private COVID-19 vaccinations are not accessible in the UK. The distribution and oversight of vaccines remain under the jurisdiction of manufacturers and government bodies. National Health Service (NHS) channels are responsible for administering vaccines, following prioritisation criteria. It’s crucial to remain vigilant for any developments through official sources as private vaccine availability might change over time and reportedly as soon as Spring 2024.
Which COVID-19 vaccinations are available in the UK?
Presently, the UK has authorised three vaccines for usage against COVID-19: Pfizer, AstraZeneca/Oxford, and Moderna.
The Pfizer vaccine, the first authorised in the UK, comes from Pfizer (USA) and BioNTech (Germany). It uses mRNA to tell cells to make a spike protein like the COVID-19 virus. This helps the immune system create memory cells for fast response if the virus comes back. Given in two doses 12 weeks apart, it’s 95% effective against symptomatic COVID-19.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine uses viral DNA from the COVID-19 spike protein, carried by an adenovirus. This DNA instructs cells to create the spike protein and build immune cells. Given in two doses at least 4 weeks apart, it’s over 70% effective against COVID-19 and easier to store.
Similarly, the Moderna vaccine from Boston uses mRNA to spark an immune response to the spike protein. Stored at -20 Celsius, it’s given in two doses 4 weeks apart.
Vaccines from Novavax and Janssen are on the brink of approval for usage. It’s important to note that at this time, the choice of vaccine is not available to individuals. Common side effects include headaches, fatigue, localised reactions, and fever, with serious reactions being extremely rare.
Who is eligible for COVID-19 Vaccination in the UK?
The UK government has established a vaccination priority list, commencing with individuals residing or working in care homes and those aged 80 years and above. The current recipients of the vaccine include:
- Individuals aged 65 and above
- Individuals who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19
- Individuals residing and working in care homes
- Health and social care workers
- Individuals with a learning disability
- Individuals who are the primary caregiver for someone at high risk of COVID-19
Can I get COVID-19 vaccination outside NHS?
Currently, all COVID-19 vaccines in the UK are administered by the NHS. Similar to private flu vaccinations, this option may become available in the future.
Certain private companies are offering COVID vaccinations abroad. It’s advised to exercise caution regarding the credibility of these vaccines. Priority lies in mass vaccination during this global crisis.
The Future of Private COVID-19 Vaccinations:
The possibility of private COVID-19 vaccinations may evolve, with Doctorcall being well placed to step in.