Private COVID-19 vaccine: can you pay for the coronavirus jab?

Updated on 13 April 2021

The UK Government has an ambitious vaccination plan to help end the coronavirus pandemic, but if you don’t want to wait, is it possible to pay for a private COVID vaccination?

Can I pay for a private COVID-19 vaccine?

At the time of writing, there is no option to pay for a private COVID-19 vaccine, but we’ll update this article if this changes.

Pfizer, the first company to get a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the UK, recently ruled out any plans to supply the vaccine to the private sector, as reported by the Financial Times (FT).

Similarly, AstraZeneca told the FT its vaccination is not available for private purchase, and it was also revealed most private clinics are not expected to offer any vaccinations until after the first phase of NHS vaccinations.

It’s worth stressing that, even if healthcare companies decided to sell the vaccine, you may still have to wait to get one as they have to fulfil millions of orders for several countries first.

The only option for a vaccine at the time of writing is to wait for the NHS to get in touch when you're eligible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged that all adults in the UK will be offered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of July.

We’ll now go into more detail below about the current vaccination plan by the Government.

But it’s first worth warning that if you get any suspicious texts offering the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for personal and financial information, it’s a scam as the vaccine is free – here’s how to stay safe.

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Coronavirus vaccine vial. (Image: Shutterstock)

When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine on the NHS?

According to the NHS, the coronavirus vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm, and two doses will be needed for longer lasting protection.

You can still get and spread COVID-19 even after you have the first vaccine dose, so it’s still vital to follow social distancing rules.

The Government met its target to offer the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those in the top priority groups by mid-February, which was around 15 million people.

This included all residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, those 70 years of age and over; frontline health and social care workers and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.

At the time of writing, over 32 million people in the UK have received their first COVID jab. The rest of the population will be offered a vaccine depending on their age and clinical risk factors.

People will be vaccinated at various places including mass vaccination sites, hospital hubs, pharmacies, local GP practices – and even supermarkets

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Which COVID-19 vaccines have been approved?

So far, three coronavirus vaccines have been approved for use in the UK.

In early December, the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine was the first to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19.

On 30 December, the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which is 62% effective, was approved for use in the UK by the MHRA.

The most recent COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the MHRA is by Moderna, which is nearly 95% effective. It is expected to be rolled out in April according to media reports.

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