BRITS under the age of 65 who are shielding will be among the first in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine, the deputy chief medical officer has confirmed.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam tonight said that while vaccines have not yet been authorised, jabs will cover all age groups of those who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam said that there would be coverage for all age groups in the clinically vulnerable group[/caption]
The elderly will be at the front of the queue when it comes to who gets the jab and Prof Van Tam today addressed concerns that others who are vulnerable would be left behind.
Guidance had previously been set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as to who would get the vaccine in the first instance.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference tonight alongside Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Prof Van Tam said: “The guidance is provisional.
“We do not yet have the data on the vaccines available to us and authorised by MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
“We can’t yet those make final decisions until we make sure that the vaccines are suitable for all groups, I am hoping so, but that is a decision that needs to be made in the future.
“It is very clear that the clinically extremely vulnerable are on the JCVI priority list and many of them will already be subsumed within the priority list by virtue of age or by virtue of having chronic conditions – right down to the age of 18.
“From that perspective I do expect there to be coverage of the extremely clinically vulnerable.”
Mr Hancock said he “understood” how important the roll out and prioritisation of vaccines is for people – especially those in the clinically vulnerable groups.
The update on who will receive the vaccine comes after it was today announced that US pharmaceutical giant Moderna had developed a vaccine that is 95 per cent effective.
This is a slightly better result than the 90 per cent effectiveness rating the Pfizer jab had.
It was previously reported that the government had secured 350 million jabs from various pharmaceutical companies, and Mr Hancock this evening said that this total was now 355 with the Moderna vaccine combined.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at highest risk of death.
Its interim guidance says the order of priority should be:
- Older adults in a care home and care home workers
- All those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers, though they may move up the list
- Anyone 75 and over
- People aged 70 and over
- All those aged 65 and over
- High-risk adults under 65
- Moderate-risk adults under 65
- All those aged 60 and over
- All those 55 and over
- All those aged 50 and over
- The rest of the population, with priority yet to be determined.
Britain's 350million Covid vaccine doses
THE government has ordered 350million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with some ready to roll out by December 1.
This includes 40million doses of the promising Pfizer shot, which was revealed to be 90 per cent effect last week.
These are the other vaccines which the government has pre-ordered:
Oxford/AstraZeneca: 100million doses
A weakened virus that causes colds in chimpanzees, it has been shown to generate a strong immune response against Covid-19.
It has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans, making it safe for children, the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.
Currently in phase-3 trials in the UK, USA, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and Kenya, more than 50,000 test patients have been given the vaccine. Early reviews have shown it to be safe.
A company in Australia has already started making millions of vials in the expectation that trials will be successful.
Novavax: 60million doses
Contains purified piece of the virus that causes Covid-19. When it is administered, the body recognises it as “foreign” and mounts a protective immune response.
It has been shown to generate more antibodies than in patients recovering from severe Covid-19 infections.
Currently in phase-3 clinical trials in the UK and USA.
GSK/Sanofi: 60million doses
Uses the same protein as one of Sanofi’s seasonal flu vaccines coupled with a booster.
In phase-1 clinical trials but early results have been positive.
Valneva: 60million doses
An inactivated whole virus vaccine designed to prompt the body into creating high levels of Covid-19 antibodies.
The government has invested in Valneva’s manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, to create a major UK vaccine factory.
Currently in pre-trial research, with trials due to start in December.
Pfizer/BioNTech: 40million doses
Prevents Covid-19 infection by targeting the virus’s “spike protein”, effectively disabling it before it can cause any damage.
Tested on 40,000 patients, it is currently in phase-3 trials, but the first interim analysis has shown it is 90 per cent effective.
Janssen: 30million doses
Uses a modified common cold virus to act like a Trojan horse that can deploy the Covid-19 virus’s “spike protein” to human cells, causing the body to generate antibodies.
Phase-3 trials among 60,000 patients were recently halted temporarily after an unexplained illness in one volunteer. Trials have since resumed.
= 350million doses in total
While many people want a vaccine as soon as possible in order to get back to normal life, experts said that the process would not be rushed.
Prof Wei Shen last week said the JCVI’s current interim recommendation for who should get the jab first is to prioritise the most vulnerable in society.
He said: “At the very top of our priority list are care home residents and people who work in care homes.
“Following on, we will prioritise all the individuals going down age bands down from 80 plus year olds to 60 plus year olds.
“Following on, we will then prioritise adults who have an underlying health condition that puts them at risk.
“Following on from there, we will keep going on down in age bands to individuals who are aged 50 and above.
“If phase one is completed then we will have protected hopefully over 99% of those individuals who are at risk of dying from Covid-19.”
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He said that the committee has not decided yet on who else should be vaccinated.
The chief of the MHRA also said that a vaccine would not be rushed.
Dr June Raine said: “Although we have adapted our processes to undertake our rigorous review of effectiveness and safety in a rolling way, there is absolutely no chance that we will compromise on standards of safety or effectiveness.
“The steps that help to reassure on that include our independent expert advisory committee, which is an even greater layer of independence.”