UK vaccine committee advises COVID-19 shot rollout should continue by age

by Reuters
Friday, 26 February 2021 11:47 GMT

(Adds detail)

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Britain should continue to prioritise people by age rather than occupation, the chair of Britain's vaccine advice committee said on Friday, describing the system as the best way to keep up the pace of immunisations.

Britain's vaccine rollout has been among the fastest in the world, meeting a government target to offer vaccines to 15 million high-risk people by mid-February.

Some frontline workers such as police and teachers had been calling for prioritisation for shots on the basis of their jobs, but Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 chairman for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said such an approach could complicate the rollout.

"We know the age based programme is simple and works very well, and therefore, it seems sensible to continue with that, keeping an eye on speed," he told a news conference.

Britain aims to complete phase 1 of its vaccine rollout by mid-April.

While the priority list is largely determined by age, with all over-50s set to be offered a vaccine in the first phase, health and care workers and clinically vulnerable people have also been prioritised.

Announcing the prioritisation list for phase 2, Lim said all those aged between 40-49 would be next in line for the shot, then those aged 30-39, then those aged 18-29. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden and Elizabeth Piper)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.