Great Britain

Teachers will NOT be prioritised for Covid jabs once high-risk Brits vaccinated

TEACHERS will not be prioritised for Covid jabs once high risk Brits have been vaccinated.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will recommend under-50s be jabbed by descending age rather than occupation during the second phase of the rollout.

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Calls have been made to prioritise key workers, such as teachers and police officers, with public facing roles.

But Government sources say experts have opted to continue vaccinating by age, as it is by far the biggest risk factor for severe Covid illness and death.

However the new recommendations will cover ten year bands, instead of the current five.

It means those aged 40 to 49 will be the next priority group, after the initial 32 million high risk Brits are completed in April.

Prisoners will also have to wait their turn under JCVI plans set to be published within days.

A health source said: “The JCVI have submitted their recommendations and are sticking to the tried and tested formula.

“People will be prioritised by descending age, not occupation. And there are no plans for prisoners to jump the queue.

“There is no point vaccinating a 20-year-old teacher and denying a 49-year-old who has much higher risk.”

JCVI deputy chairman Professor Anthony Harnden said the key to the UK’s vaccination rollout success was its simplicity.

He warned prioritising certain occupations would slow down delivery – and lead to worse outcomes.

Speaking to MPs, Prof Harnden said there is not a strong scientific argument to immunise teachers ahead of those in their 40s.

He told the Commons’ Science and Technology Committee: "In fact there are other occupational groups which are usually more at risk than teachers.

"So then it becomes a political decision, which is why the JCVI have decided that we'll be steering our advice based on science and it will be up to politicians to decide on what you do in terms of teachers.

"But I would say that one of the key reasons that this programme has been so successful is because it has been simple, it's been deliverable, and it has been rolled out very quickly and people understand it."

Matt Hancock rejects calls for teachers to be given priority Covid vaccine

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