Public Health England reveals high-priority list for Covid-19 vaccine

27 November 2020, 18:13

The most vulnerable people will receive the Covid-19 vaccine first
The most vulnerable people will receive the Covid-19 vaccine first. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A list revealing the order of priority for a Covid-19 vaccine has been published by Public Health England.

The much anticipated list includes priority for people with respiratory diseases, heart disease, and diabetes, but also those who are obese.

The document, published by the body on Friday, confirmed care home residents and staff will be first to receive any jab approved by the regulator, with the over-80s and health and social care workers second.

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The list remains subject to approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - the drugs regulator which will also decide which Covid-19 jabs are safe to roll out across the UK.

The Government on Friday asked the agency to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, just days after ordering the assessment of the Pfizer/BioNTech drug as well.

The order of priority for a potential vaccine has been set out in nine stages:

1. Care home residents and staff

2. 80+ and health and social care workers

3. 75+

4. 70+ and 'clinically extremely vulnerable'

5. 65+

6. 'At risk' groups

7. 60+

8. 55+

9. 50+

The list comes as a study confirmed two out of three people have said they would get a Covid-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

Ministers and health officials are seeking to combine an effective vaccine with mass testing in the hope it will end tough restrictions and drive the number of infections down to controllable levels.

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"In the end... until the vaccine comes on stream, we are not out of the woods yet and we have to be very vigilant," chief medical officer Chris Whitty said at a Downing Street press conference yesterday.

He warned people to be careful on Christmas week - when measures will be relaxed for five days.

Meanwhile, large parts of England are preparing to enter a strengthened version of Tier 3 local restrictions as the country comes out of lockdown.

The rule of six applies in specific outdoor spaces such as parks and beaches, and will be determined by local authorities whether gyms, leisure centres and certain other businesses can reopen.

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The restrictions have angered some local leaders and MPs, who believe the restrictions are unfairly penalising areas with low rates of infection.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick conceded the new tiers "are slightly tougher" than before but he attributed this to being the result of scientific advice.

In an interview with LBC on Friday morning, he said there is "help on the way" and urged the public to "make the tiers work" until the vaccines are rolled out.