BY Monday, the top four priority groups for the Covid-19 vaccine should have received at least their first jab.

This means that the next stage of vaccinations can begin to protect the most at-risk people of death and hospitalisation from the illness.

The Government’s self-imposed target of February 15 was set to vaccinate groups one to four of the priority groups, as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

These four groups accounted for all people aged 70 and over, care home residents, frontline health and social care workers and care home staff, and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.

As of last week, 86 per cent of the most at-risk people in West Yorkshire had received the vaccine.

From Monday, the vaccine rollout programme can move onto the next stage, and on Wednesday the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the aim is to get the remaining five groups completed by the end of April – less than 11 weeks away.

The fifth group to get the jab will be all those aged 65 and over, followed by all those aged between 16 and 65 in an at-risk group in group six, which are clarified below.

Group seven is those aged 60 and over, group eight is people aged 55 and over, and the ninth and final group of the first stage of the rollout is those aged 50 and over.

Once these groups have had at least one jab, the rollout will move into the rest of the population, but the order of this has yet to be determined. Many different groups are lobbying to be at the front of the queue for jabs once the nine priority groups have been done, including police officers, teachers, and even – as suggested by Burnley FC manager Sean Dyche – Premier League footballers.

At risk groups are classified as people with:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • diabetes
  • dementia
  • 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.

Over 70s who still have not been contacted to receive their first vaccine are urged to book an appointment by calling 119 or visiting the NHS website.

For priority groups five to nine, when it is your turn to get the jab you will be contacted by the NHS.