The UK is rocketing ahead with its coronavirus vaccine rollout programme. Up to February 24, the Government’s coronavirus dashboard shows more than 18.5 million people have now received one vaccine dose. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said earlier this week one in three adults in the UK has now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
Currently, the NHS is in the process of vaccinating the top six priority groups, as outlined by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
These groups include all people over the age of 64 as well as care home residents and staff, health workers and people considered clinically extremely or clinically vulnerable.
Before April 30, the Government is aiming to vaccinate everyone from groups one to nine on the JCVI priority list.
Groups seven to nine include people over the age of 50.
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Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 chair for JCVI, said: “Vaccinations stop people from dying and the current strategy is to prioritise those who are more likely to have severe outcomes and die from Covid-19.
“The evidence is clear that the risk of hospitalisation and death increases with age. The vaccination programme is a huge success and continuing the age-based rollout will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”
A UK Government spokeswoman said the JCVI advice reflected the fact age remains “the strongest factor” linked to death and hospital admission and “the speed of delivery (of vaccines) is crucial.”
She added: “All four parts of the UK will follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the independent expert committee.
“The UK Government remains on course to meet its target to offer a vaccine to all those in the phase 1 priority groups by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.”