Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed a "significant milestone" in the UK's fight against coronavirus as 15 million people across the UK have now been given their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Ministers have said they are “on track” to meet the target of offering a first dose to everyone in the UK in the top four priority groups, including all over 70s, by the 15 February deadline.

The passing of the 15 million vaccinations mark paves the way for the next phase of the the rollout – covering the next five priority groups, including the over 50s – to begin.

Who is included in the next phase?

The vaccine priority list is set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and includes nine categories.

Care home residents and their carers, plus people over the age of 80 and frontline health and social care workers, formed the top two priority groups.

This was followed by people aged 75 and over, and those deemed to be “clinically extremely vulnerable”.

Now that these top four groups have been offered their first dose, the vaccination programme moved into a new phase in England on Monday (15 February), which will cover the next five priority groups.

This includes the following:

  • Group 5 - all those aged 65 and over
  • Group 6 - adults aged 16 to 65 in an at-risk group
  • Group 7 - all those aged 60 and over
  • Group 8 - all those aged 55 and over
  • Group 9 - all those aged 50 and over

NHS England has already sent out 1.2 million invitations to the over 65s to book an appointment for their vaccine, with a similar number expected to go out this week.

Carers will also be offered the chance to get their first Covid-19 jab as part of the next phase, joining those who are clinically vulnerable and people aged 65 to 69 as the next in line.

The sixth group includes all individuals aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality, as well as those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

Who is classed as clinically vulnerable?

People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

You may fall into this category if your GP added you to the Shielded Patient list, or if you have one of the following conditions:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
    problems with your spleen, for example splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

How to book your appointment

People who have received a letter inviting them for their vaccine can log on to the national booking service at and choose from more than 100 vaccination centres, or almost 200 pharmacy services.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

NHS England said five more large-scale vaccination centres will also open their doors from this week at Alderley Park Conference centre, Burnley Mall, Chester Racecourse, Preston St Johns and Westgate Chichester.