UK to focus on age groups, not occupation for Covid-19 vaccine inoculation

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 27, 2021

United Kingdom’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed that the country has decided to prioritise people by age and not by their jobs, as per media reports.

Hancock maintained that the second phase of the vaccine inoculation will follow expert guidelines that will focus on age groups and not on occupational risk.

According to the BBC report, around one in three adults in the UK have received their first Covid-19 vaccine shot.

One of England’s top medics said Covid death rates were lower for teachers than several other professions.

England’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam mentioned, quoted as saying in the BBC report, ONS data on occupations with the highest Covid death rates. These include restaurant and catering establishment managers or proprietors, followed by metal-working and machine operatives, food, drink and tobacco process operatives, chefs, and taxi and cab drivers.

Speaking at a coronavirus news conference, Van-Tam added that the mortality rates for men in each of these groups were over 100 deaths per 1,00,000, compared with 18.4 deaths per 1,00,000 male teachers.

“When we’re getting down into phase two of the vaccine campaigns... being in the queue is more important than where you are in it,” Prof Van-Tam added.

The UK government now intends to inoculate all over-50s and those with co-morbidities by 15 April. It has pledged to complete phase two - where all other adults are offered their first dose - by 31 July, BBC report added.

Hancock said, “Thankfully, teachers are no more likely to catch Covid than any other member of the population who goes to work, and so trying to come up with a scheme which prioritizes one professional group over another would have been complicated to put in place and wouldn’t have done what we asked the JCVI to do... which is to make sure that we minimize the people who die.”

The government believes that the next phase of the vaccination program will be decisive as it will reduce pressure on hospitals and more lives can be saved.

Meanwhile, over 19.1 million people in the UK have received the first shot of the vaccine.

Published on February 27, 2021

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