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On 2 December 2020, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted a ‘temporary authorisation’ for the first Covid-19 vaccine in the UK (the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) meaning that it could be administered to patients. Roll-out of the vaccine began the following week, with the first NHS patient receiving the first of two doses of the vaccine on 8 December 2020. The MHRA has since granted a temporary authorisation to a second Covid-19 vaccine (the AstraZeneca vaccine) and is now rolling it out across the UK, while a third vaccine (the Moderna vaccine) received a temporary authorisation from the MHRA on 8 January 2021. Doses of the Moderna vaccine are not currently being rolled out; the Government reported that “supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from spring once Moderna expands its production capability”.

The Government has since published its UK COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan. The plan sets out how Covid-19 vaccines will be supplied, prioritised for those most at risk, made accessible across the country and administered by the healthcare professionals.

Below are links to resources and guidance on the Covid-19 vaccine programme published by Public Health England, the NHS and other health bodies. Background information on vaccination, published by the House of Commons and Lords Libraries, and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) is also included.

These sources and others have been used to address commonly asked questions about the Covid-19 vaccine programme. These will be updated as needed.

Please note that NHS guidance emphasises that people should “wait to be contacted” about the vaccination, adding:

The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

The information in this briefing is not medical advice, or a substitute for medical advice. Individuals seeking advice on their own medical treatment should consult their GP or use the NHS 111 service (in England). For the latest official guidance on coronavirus and the Covid-19 vaccination programme, please consult the NHS and Public Health England guidance linked to in section 1 of this briefing.


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