/Government announces list of who will get priority for Covid-19 vaccine

Government announces list of who will get priority for Covid-19 vaccine

People over the age of 50, frontline workers and people with heart and kidney conditions will be prioritised if and when a coronavirus vaccine is available, the government has said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said work is underway to “stockpile” jabs so they’re available straight away if a vaccine is approved.

He told today’s Downing Street briefing that drug company AstraZeneca has already started manufacturing a jab being produced by scientists at Oxford University.

Mr Hancock said: “They’re starting manufacture now, even ahead of approval, so we can build up a stockpile and be ready should it be clinically approved.”

A separate vaccine being produced at Imperial College in London is also at the first stage of clinical trials, he said.

Matt Hancock said over 50s will be among those who are prioritised

People who will be first in the queue for jabs when one becomes available are:

  • Frontline healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses in hospitals
  • Social care workers, including those who work in care homes and who carry out home visits
  • Patients with heart or kidney conditions
  • The over-50s

On top of this, he said further research was being carried out to find out whether people from ethnic minority groups are at higher risk.

“We can protect the most at risk first should a vaccine become available,” Mr Hancock said.

At the Downing Street press conference he said the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation had published interim advice.

“They recommend priority vaccination for two groups: frontline health and social care workers and those at increased risk of serious disease and death from coronavirus.”

Drug company AstraZeneca has begun production of a vaccine – even though it has yet to be approved
(Image: REUTERS)

That would include the over-50s and those with heart and kidney disease.

“As we learn more about the virus we will continue to take into account which groups may be particularly vulnerable, including, for example, those from ethnic minority backgrounds so that we can protect the most at risk first, should a vaccine become available, and get this country back on our feet as soon as we possibly can.”

Earlier today a World Health Organisation (WHO) boss warned a second wave of coronavirus could hit this autumn.

Nations have been urged today to adopt the track, test and isolate programme or suffer the consequences of the deadly new wave.

The warning comes just as the UK is abandoning its efforts to develop its own contact-tracing app.

A spokesman insisted the dosages were safe and the clinical trial was “progressing well”
Clincial trials on a vaccine are said to be progressing well
(Image: PA)

Dr Hans Kluge, WHO’s European regional director, said: “It’s well possible that when the autumn starts and we have also the seasonal influenza, there is the possibility of a seasonal effect on the virus – but we’re not sure yet – that then we will see a second wave.

“So the lesson is that we have to implement what we know works – at the core of the strategy is to find as early as possible, isolate, test suspected people from Covid, and if needs be treat them without any stigma or discrimination.

Original Source