The government has revealed its priority list for the roll-out of a coronavirus vaccine. It will go first of all to care home residents and older people aged 80 and above. It comes after Pfizer announced it had found a vaccine that was over 90% effective in interim studies. The initial Phase 1 roll out will protect 99% of those at risk of death from Covid-19, an expert has said.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said priority groups ‘may change’ but current thinking is they would start with care home residents and workers, then older individuals, going down age groups to the over-60s. He said adults with underlying health condition would then be prioritised before the over-50s during phase one of the programme.
‘If phase one is completed then we will have protected hopefully over 99% of those individuals who are at risk of dying from Covid-19,’ he said. Officials have not decided who should be vaccinated after phase one. Professor Wei Shen Lim added: ‘We will keep going down the age bands to individuals who are 50 and above.
‘That describes phase 1 which is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. ‘We have not decided yet on who else should be vaccinated beyond phase 1.’ He said that other people may be offered the vaccine, but other recommendations will come ‘in due course’.
Prof Van-Tam says vaccines “need to be prioritised to those who need them”