The Daily Telegraph
Most at risk will be top priority for vaccine, promises PM
BORIS JOHNSON has announced that Britain’s “most vulnerable” people will be prioritised when a vaccine for coronavirus is rolled out, amid fears that less than half of the population will receive one.
The Prime Minister said that scientists at the University of Oxford were on “the verge” of creating a successful vaccine but insisted those who are most at risk will receive it first.
Mr Johnson told reporters yesterday: “Obviously, if and when we get a vaccine then the crucial thing would be to ensure that we have sufficient supplies in this country, that we’re able to make it in this country, distribute it fast in this country and clearly the priority for a vaccine will be those who are the most vulnerable groups.”
The vaccine candidate developed by Oxford scientists in collaboration with Astrazeneca is thought to be the furthest along in the process of trials, and Mr Johnson said it felt as if “they must be on the verge of it, but it’s got to be properly tested”.
Kate Bingham, the head of the Government’s vaccine task force, said the programme planned to vaccinate around 30 million people out of the UK’S 67 million population if a successful jab is found.
She told the Financial Times: “People keep talking about ‘ time to vaccinate the whole population’, but that is misguided. There’s going to be no vaccinat i on of people under 1 8. I t ’s an adult-only vaccine, for people over 50, focusing on health workers and care home workers, and the vulnerable.”
Downing Street said there was an “enormous amount of planning and preparation in place”.
“The priority will be the most vulnerable groups and we take advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on which groups should get the vaccine based on these factors and we keep it under review,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.