Covid vaccine priority list extended: Who will get vaccinated after over 50s?

Vaccine: Mark Harper discusses rollout targets

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The UK is currently in the midst of vaccinating the top nine priority groups on the JCVI priority list. The last group on the list, before the rest of the population, is the over 50s. The Government is aiming to vaccinate the top nine priority groups by the end of April, before moving to vaccinate the entire population by July 31. However, a priority list for the under 50s has not been published to date.

Who will get vaccinated after the over 50s?

Some 21 million adults are currently not included in groups one to nine of the JCVI priority list.

At the moment a priority list for the rest of the adult population has not been set, but it is likely to be decided by the JCVI.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Government would “absolutely” follow the recommendations of the vaccine expert advisory committee when deciding on prioritisation for the second phase of the rollout.

Asked about how the under-50s will be prioritised, he told BBC Breakfast: “The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are looking at that and we will absolutely follow what they recommend.

“The recommendation for phase one has been correct because it’s based on clinical assessment of who is most vulnerable to be hospitalised or have serious infection and sadly death in some cases.

“So we’ll go back to the JCVI and they will make that recommendation and we will follow that recommendation.”

Downing Street said the JCVI would publish its priority list for the second phase of the vaccine programme in due course.

Could key workers be prioritised in the next wave of vaccines?

While the public waits for the priority list to be published, Labour has repeated their calls for the Government to offer vaccines to key workers.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there “isn’t strong evidence” that teachers are at higher risk of getting coronavirus than other groups.

But he added he will “leave it for the JCVI to set out what they think is the best order in which to do this that minimises the number of deaths.”

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Jon Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “It’s perfectly reasonable for teachers, police officers and other key workers who haven’t been able to stay at home in the lockdown to ask when their turn will be.

“If the Government aren’t going to prioritise by occupation in the next phase, they need to set out why.

“Vaccination must go hand-in-hand with measures to break transmission chains.

“That means paying people decent financial support to isolate, updating face coverings guidance and insisting in ventilation standards to ensure all workplaces are Covid secure.”

Appearing on LBC to take questions from the public, Sir Keir Starmer explained his frustration at the lack of vaccinations for teachers.

The Labour leader said: “We just had half-term and I said to the Government, use that to vaccinate teachers and school staff before we go back to school. They didn’t do it and it is frustrating.”

Almost half a million people signed a Government petition to prioritise teachers, school and childcare staff for Covid vaccines earlier this year.

Other people who have been considered key workers during the pandemic include people involved in food production and sale and police staff.

Transport staff, postal and delivery workers and journalists, among others, have also been classed as key workers.

But the public will have to wait and see whether any of these groups are prioritised for vaccination in the coming months.

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