Kate Bingham told the Financial Times that officials were hoping to be able to deliver the drug to about 30 million adults in the country of about 67 million and “we just need to vaccinate everyone at risk.”
The immunization program manager added: “People keep talking about the ‘time to vaccinate the whole population’, but this is a mistake. There will be no vaccination for people under the age of 18.
“It’s an adult-only vaccine for people over 50, focused on health workers, home workers and vulnerable people.”
Last month, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) reported that nursing home residents were among those who should be top of the list for a shot when it becomes available.
According to their provisional guidelines, the order of priority should begin with:
– Elderly people in a nursing home and nursing home workers
– Every 80+ and health and social service workers, even if they can move up the list
– Anyone aged 75 and over before considering other adults over 50.
Earlier on Sunday, the Health Secretary expressed support for the priority list at the Conservative Party’s virtual conference.
Matt Hancock also told viewers that the military would be involved in the rollout of the drug.
He described the prioritization as “important because we first need to provide the vaccine to those most likely to be severely affected by the coronavirus.”
“But it’s also important because people can know ahead of time that there is a prioritization and we’ll reach people when it’s clinically right to do so.
“And then there’s a huge logistics operation we’re planning, led by the NHS with the support of the military to make sure we have the logistics in place to get this deployed as quickly as possible. “
A government spokesperson said: “We want as many people as possible to have access to a Covid-19 vaccine and we are reviewing the advice of the Independent Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunization on groups of people to prioritize.
“The committee’s interim advice is that the vaccine should be given to residents and nursing home staff first, then to people over 80 and health and social workers, and then to the rest of the community. population in order of age and risk.
“A tremendous amount of planning and preparation has taken place across government to quickly get a safe and effective vaccine in place.