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The order of how we will vaccinate the population against COVID-19.

First published:
11 February 2021
Last updated:


This vaccination priority group list was drawn up by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). They have considered how to achieve the greatest reduction in mortality from COVID-19 as fast as possible. Vaccinating the first 4 cohorts on this list is likely to reduce 80% of COVID-19 related deaths.

Phase 1: priority list

In the first phase we will vaccinate according to age and risk of serious illness if someone catches coronavirus.

This priority list is as follows:

  1. People living in a care home for older adults and their staff carers
  2. All those 80 years of age and older and frontline health and social care workers
  3. All those 75 years of age and over
  4. All those 70 years of age and over and people who are extremely clinically vulnerable (also known as the “shielding” group) – people in this group will previously have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising them to shield
  5. All those 65 years of age and over
  6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality.
  7. All those 60 years of age and over
  8. All those 55 years of age and over
  9. All those 50 years of age and over

These groups represent around 99% of preventable deaths from COVID-19.

Phase 2: mass vaccination

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has issued interim advice on prioritisation in phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine programme. It has recommended the continuation of an age-based approach for prioritisation.

JCVI advises that, to facilitate rapid vaccine deployment, the offer of vaccination during phase 2 is age-based starting with the oldest adults first and proceeding in the following order:

  • all those aged 40 to 49 years
  • all those aged 30 to 39 years
  • all those aged 18 to 29 years

The JCVI has also advised that certain professions, vulnerable groups and those who come into contact with vulnerable individuals be prioritised.