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Matt Hancock press conference: No10 to announce major update on Covid vaccine battle | Politics | News


So far more than 18 million Brits have received a first jab of a Covid jab. The NHS is rapidly making its way through the vaccine priority list, with all over 50s set to be given an injection by April 15.

Tonight the Health Secretary will confirm how the Government intends to go about vaccinating all adults under-50 by its deadline of July 31.

The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which is made up of medical professionals and scientists, made its recommendations on how to rollout the jab to the rest of the adult population earlier this week.

In a blow to Sir Keir Starmer, who has repeatedly called for teachers to be next in line to get a Covid antidote, the JCVI is understood to have recommended the Government continues to implement its immunisation programme based on age.

Speaking to the Commons science and technology committee on Wednesday, the Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the JCVI, said teachers were at no greater risk of catching coronavirus.

“We looked at the data very carefully on this, and when you look at ONS data, it doesn’t suggest that teachers are any more at risk of acquiring infections from coronavirus than any other occupation and there are other occupations more at risk than teachers,” he said.

“We know, for instance, that people who work in processing plants, who are in closed environments without ventilation and a great amount of noise and having to shout, are quite a lot more at risk than teachers who teach children wearing masks and have adequate ventilation.”

It is also understood continuing to prioritise age in the inoculation programme will help the Government continue to rollout the vaccines at pace.

The Health Secretary is expected to confirm the Government will follow the recommendations of the JCVI when he holds the televised briefing at 5pm.

Rapid rollout of the vaccine programme is closely linked to the Prime Minister roadmap out of lockdown.

Earlier this week Boris Johnson set out how the Government intends to go about lifting coronavirus restrictions over the coming months.

More to follow…



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