The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced today that those aged 40-49 would be next on the list to receive the vaccine, following the most vulnerable and the over 50’s – who are part of ‘phase one’ of the rollout.
Almost 19 million people have now received the first dose of the vaccine across the UK – a figure that Health Secretary Matt Hancock said was “on target”.
This includes some of the most vulnerable in society, including key workers and those over the age of 65.
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Now, it has been announced that over 40’s could be vaccinated as early as March – with those as young as 18 to follow.
‘Phase two’ will start with those between 40 and 49, followed by all those aged 30-39, and then those aged 18-29.
Some teenagers over the age of 16 with underlying health conditions have already been invited for their vaccine as they are a ‘critical risk’ – but when will all other teenagers be vaccinated?
When will teenagers be vaccinated?
The Health Secretary stated that they want all adults to have had their first dose by the end of July.
This means that teenagers could be vaccinated as early as this summer.
The ‘phase two’ planning means that teenagers at university over the age of 18 could be invited by the end of July.
John Edmunds, a member of the government’s advisory group Sage, along with a number of others, believes children and teens should be as much of a priority as anyone else when it comes to vaccinations.
He said: “I cannot imagine how we could even hope to eradicate the virus, unless we are willing to immunise the majority of the population.”
This is because of the threat they could cause when returning to school, mixing with other pupils and teachers, and taking it home to possibly older family members.
It is anticipated that all children and teens could be vaccinated by the end of the year, and it could be accelerated should ‘phase two’ of the programme be finished by the close of summer.
However, it is thought that front line workers, such as teachers or police officers, could be prioritised before the vaccine reaches children and teens
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair for the 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.”
18,691,835 people have currently been vaccinated with the first dose across the UK, with the second dose total hitting 700,000.