Covid vaccine: Can I choose which Covid vaccine I get?

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Coronavirus vaccinations are speeding up across the UK, with more than 7.8 million first doses issued across the country so far. The AstraZeneca and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines are currently being given out, with the UK having secured more vaccines which are in various stages of development.

The UK Government has so far secured 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and 100 million of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

There are also 17 million doses from Moderna, which is the most-recently approved vaccine, but supplies of it are not expected to arrive until spring.

The UK has also secured 60 million doses of the Novavax jab – to be produced on Teesside – with the hope the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will approve it for use within weeks.

There has been some tension around the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine – after supplies are forecast to run short in Europe.  

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In a steep escalation of the EU’s fight to secure vaccine supplies, the EU triggered clauses in the Northern Irish Protocol that would limit the supply of vaccines crossing the Irish border into the United Kingdom.

The British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has been caught in the crosshairs after it said last week it would fall short of delivering promised vaccines to the EU by March because of production problems in Belgium.

However, the supplies for the UK are mostly made in Britain, so supplies will not suffer. 

With so many vaccines soon to enter the UK, is it possible for those getting vaccinated to choose their vaccine?

Can I choose which Covid vaccine I get?

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres. More centres are opening all the time.

It’s being given to:

  • people aged 80 and over
  • some people aged 70 and over
  • some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  • people who live or work in care homes
  • health and social care workers

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Britons cannot choose which vaccine they are offered, it will be up to the supply and location of the vaccination centre.

Whichever vaccine you are offered, it will have been through all the safety processes – which means it will have been carefully reviewed and approved.

The vaccine will also have been recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for people of your age and risk group.

The Covid-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

The vaccination is given as two doses, those who receive their first dose will have the second three to 12 weeks after having the first dose.

All vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the Independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus.

But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you longer-lasting protection.

There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

This means it is important to:

  • continue to follow social distancing guidance
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people

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