Teachers could be prioritised for second vaccine phase

Vaccines for those at increased risk due to their job could be 'a priority in the next phase', say government advisers

Amy Gibbons

Covid-19 vaccine

Teachers could be on the priority list for the second phase of the new Covid-19 vaccine, government advisers have said.

It was announced this morning that the UK had become the first country in the world to approve a jab to fight the disease from Pfizer and BioNTech.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to vaccinate 20 million people with two doses, given 21 days apart.

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Frontline health and care workers are the only occupation group to feature on the priority list for the first phase.

Teachers could be bumped up the queue for the second phase, according to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises ministers.

In a report published today, the committee stated that vaccines for those at increased risk because of their job  including teachers – could be "a priority in the next phase".

The document states: "As the first phase of the programme is rolled out in the UK, additional data will become available on the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.

"These data will provide the basis for consideration of vaccination in groups that are at lower risk of mortality from Covid-19. The committee is currently of the view that the key focus for the second phase of vaccination could be on further preventing hospitalisation.

"Vaccination of those at increased risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 due to their occupation could also be a priority in the next phase. This could include first responders, the military, those involved in the justice system, teachers, transport workers, and public servants essential to the pandemic response.

"Priority occupations for vaccination are considered an issue of policy, rather than for JCVI to advise on. JCVI asks that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments."

In the first phase, the JCVI said vaccines should first be offered to elderly people in care homes and care home workers.

Next on the priority list are those aged 80 and above and frontline health workers.

All those aged 75 and over should be vaccinated next, followed by those 70 and over and clinically "extremely vulnerable" individuals, it said.

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Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons

Amy Gibbons is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @tweetsbyames

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