Advice by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation sets out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age.
The UK is currently in phase 1 part 2 which will see over-65s called for vaccination, as well as those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions, all those aged 60-64, 55-59s then people between 50-55.
A UK Government spokesperson said: “The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has today published its interim advice for phase two of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age.
"This is because age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations, and because the speed of delivery is crucial as we provide more people with protection from Covid-19.
“All four parts of the UK will follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the independent expert committee.
"The UK Government remains on course to meet its target to offer a vaccine to all those in the phase one priority groups by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.”
See below of the Covid vaccination priority list in full
Vaccine priority list in full:
Phase 1 Part 1 - everyone offered by February 15
Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
All those 80 years of age and over
Frontline health and social care workers
All those 75 years of age and over
All those 70 years of age and over
Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (shielders)
Phase 1 Part 2 - everyone offered by April 15
All those aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions - these include unpaid carers as well as people with diabetes, learning disabilities, morbid obesity, severe mental illness and other conditions.
All those aged 60-64
All those aged 55-59
All those aged 50-55
Phase 2 - everyone offered by July 31
All those aged 40-49
All those aged 30-39
All those aged 18-29.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 Chair for JCVI, said: “Vaccinations stop people from dying and the current strategy is to prioritise those who are more likely to have severe outcomes and die from Covid-19.
“The evidence is clear that the risk of hospitalisation and death increases with age. The vaccination programme is a huge success and continuing the age-based rollout will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Delivering a vaccination programme on this scale is incredibly complex and the JCVI’s advice will help us continue protecting individuals from the risk of hospitalisation at pace.
“The age-based approach will ensure more people are protected more quickly. It is crucial that those at higher risk – including men and BAME communities – are encouraged to take the vaccine, and that local health systems are fully engaged and reaching out to underserved communities to ensure they can access the vaccine.”
JCVI will continue closely monitoring the impact of the programme including vaccine safety, effectiveness and uptake, and will update its advice as required.