The Daily Telegraph

Most at risk will be top pri­or­ity for vac­cine, prom­ises PM

- By Amy Jones Po­lit­i­cal correspond­ent

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.

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