EXPECTATIONS are rising that a vaccine, or vaccines, for coronavirus will soon be ready to be rolled out across the UK - but what are the priority groups for receiving it?

Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been ordered by the UK Government under agreements made with some of the developers but availability, at least early on, is likely to be limited.

Whenever a vaccine does clear all the safety and regulatory hurdles however, supplies will at first be limited and a priority system will operate.

Those deemed to be at highest risk will be first in line, and health minister Vaughan Gething has previously indicated that in Wales, priority will be based on advice from the UK's joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI).

And he said today that the JCVI is expected to update its advice on priority categories before the end of this month.

Its current interim priority list, based on a combination of clinical risk factors and age, puts as the highest priority older adults who live in care homes, and care home workers.

They would be followed by anyone aged 80 and over, and health and social care workers.

After these groups, the JCVI prioritises for coronavirus vaccine as follows: All those aged 75 and over; all those aged 70 over; all those aged 65 and over; high risk adults under 65; moderate risk adults under 65; all those aged 60 and over; all those aged 55 and over; all those aged 50 and over; the rest of the population (priority to be determined).

JCVI advice stresses however, that "the prioritisation could change substantially if the first available vaccines were not considered suitable for, or effective in, older adults".


Many vaccines are currently in development, but they will not all have the same effect on everyone.

Some for instance may be found to be more effective in older age groups than in younger, or vice versa - and some will be more beneficial for people in 'at risk' groups, such as those with respiratory conditions or heart problems.

Last week, initial encouraging analysis of results for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, was made public, and 40 million doses have been secured for the UK. And only yesterday, early results for a vaccine being developed by Moderna indicate nearly 95 per cent effectiveness.

Five million doses of the Moderna vaccine - enough for 2.5m people - have been ordered to date by the UK Government.