This is when ‘at-risk’ priority group 6 could get the Covid vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccine rollout is the largest immunisation programme in the UK’s history.
More than 13 million people in the country have now had at least one dose of a jab.
The two vaccines being administered were developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca, while a third, from Moderna, has been approved and should arrive in the UK in the spring.
Who gets the vaccine first is determined by a nine-group priority list.
So, when will group six - people aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group - be inoculated, and who falls into that category?
Here is everything you need to know.
When will group 6 get the vaccine?
The most vulnerable people in the country are receiving a coronavirus vaccine first.
The UK Government is moving down a list of nine high-priority groups, which covers up to 99 per cent of people who are most at risk of dying.
The priority groups were decided based on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)’s recommendation on who suffers the most from the disease.
The list is as follows:
- Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- Everyone aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care workers
- People aged 75 and over
- Those aged 70 and over and the clinically extremely vulnerable
- People aged 65 and over
- People aged 16 to 65 years in an at-risk group
- People aged 60 and over
- People aged 55 and over
- People aged 50 and over.
The government is aiming to vaccinate the top four priority groups - residents in a care home and their carers, over 80s and frontline healthcare workers, over 75s, and over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable people - before 15 February.
Most NHS frontline staff, care home residents and workers and over 75s have now been vaccinated, and some areas are now inviting over 60s for their jab.
After that, priority will be given to over 65s (group seven) and then people aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group (group six).
People in group six, along with all over 50s, should be offered their first dose by May according to the government’s timeline.
It is aiming to vaccinate all adults in the UK by the autumn.
Who does group six include?
The government has determined which clinical conditions are included in the at-risk group.
If you have any of the following underlying health problems, and you are aged 16 to 65, you should be eligible for a vaccine when group six is offered the first dose.
People who fall into this group are usually eligible for a free flu jab.
The clinical conditions are:
- A blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- A heart problem
- A chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
- A kidney disease
- A liver disease
- Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
- Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments)
- Have had an organ transplant
- Had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
- A neurological or muscle wasting condition
- A severe or profound learning disability
- A problem with your spleen, example sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
- Are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above)
- Are severely mentally ill.
The government’s vaccine committee recently revised the priority list to include unpaid carers in priority group six.
That includes people who provide significant care or support for an older or disabled person in the home.
Asthma sufferers will also be included in priority group six.
Those who suffer from severe asthma will fall into priority group four, the government has clarified, while people who don’t have a severe case of asthma should be included in the “at-risk” group.
However, this is dependent on the medications you take and how well-controlled your asthma is.
The JCVI states that those who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids, or have a history of previous asthma attacks requiring hospital admission, are in group six.
Systemic steroids is likely to mean oral tablets, but Asthma UK is urgently calling on the government to provide more clarity on exactly which asthma sufferers fall into group six.