Covid-19 vaccination - who will receive the jab first?

Finally some seriously good news! 

Earlier this week, news of an effective vaccine for Covid-19 hit the headlines. Could you be the first in line to get the Pfizer vaccine? 

‘A great day for science and humanity,’ declared Pzifer and BioNTech, the companies behind the coronavirus vaccine that is set to play a key role in getting life back to normal in 2021 (we hope!) 

Out of the leading 11 vaccinations currently under clinical trials, this vaccine is the first to prove 90% efficacy. Only 94 of the people taking part in a 43,500 person-strong trial showed signs of coronavirus after being jabbed twice - proving that the breakthrough vaccine successfully protects a safe majority of people inoculated. 

Chair of the UK’s vaccine task force Kate Bingham has previously said that half of the population will be given the virus. Speed of production means that not everyone will be able to be vaccinated in the first roll out and the government is currently prioritising who should get it first. 

Who gets it first?

Care homes

Old age is the highest risk factor for the virus which has caused a crisis in care homes across the country. Thankfully, older care home residents and care home staff are at the front of the queue to receive the therapy, followed by other healthcare workers on the Covid frontline. The government seems optimistic that these vaccinations will begin in December.


It is thought that the roll-out will then commence, with those over 65 taking the next batch. 

Existing health conditions 

The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation (JCVI) is currently advising the government on the system. They say that people under 65 with an existing health condition that puts them at high risk to the virus will be administered the vaccine before those who are not considered high risk.

These high-risk individuals include those who have been shielding and those with organ transplants, cancer, diabetes and individuals who are clinically obese. Understandably, there has been concern over how the vaccine could react to the medications that these people are already taking.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Clare Gerada settled any nerves: ‘With vaccines that aren’t live it is very, very unusual to get an adverse response from people on medication,’ before comfortably saying that she has would not hesitate having the vaccine herself. 


The last to be prioritised are members of the public aged 50 and over.

What about younger people?

It is not likely that the younger population will receive the vaccination due to their low risk and ability to rehabilitate more quickly.

Healthy children will not be vaccinated during the early stages of the vaccine's availability.

Where to learn more

If you want to learn more about the Pfizer vaccine, how it works and what it might mean for you, check out these links:

We'll be bringing you lots of vaccine news as and when it breaks, as well as helpful information designed to empower you to take decisions about your own health.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 11 November 2020
Next review: 11 November 2023