The government has released a tentative list of recommended priority groups to receive the coronavirus vaccine first. Liverpool echo Reports.
While a successful vaccine to combat the killer bug has not yet been developed, there will undoubtedly be massive demand once a more effective one is found.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization issued an independent report that included discussions on the use of safe and effective vaccines once they are approved for use in the UK.
The committee that advises UK health authorities on vaccinations looked at who should be given priority for a vaccine.
Liverpool echo reports that the advisory group was strongly in favor of a simple age-based program that would likely result in faster delivery and better uptake among those at highest risk.
This tentative list of priorities is subject to change but is based on vaccines under development and tentative deadlines for vaccine availability.
PA reports that the JCVI added that any vaccination program must also ensure good coverage among black, Asian, and ethnic minorities (BAME) as well as in deprived areas.
Groups with underlying illnesses that could lead to priority vaccination include people who have had a stroke, people with poorly controlled diabetes, chronic lung disease, obesity (BMI over 40), or liver disease.
Jon Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: “The publication of an initial discussion on the introduction of a Covid vaccine is a welcome and important first step.”
He said the “thorny problem” will be when the first available vaccine “offers limited protection and, as is certainly possible, is poorly effective in the elderly”.
“As JCVI says, this can change the priority ranking significantly,” he added.
He said future data would depend on the outcome of global vaccine trials.
According to the report, the preliminary ranking of priorities for those at risk is as follows:
- older adults living in a nursing home and nursing home workers
- all these 80s and older as well as health and social workers
- all these 75 years and older
- all these 70 years and older
- all these 65 years and older
- High risk adults under 65 years of age
- Medium risk adults under 65 years of age
- all these 60 years and older
- all these 55 years and older
- all these 50 years and older
Rest of the population (priority to be determined)
This list can change significantly depending on whether the vaccine is less effective or unsuitable for older adults.
The race to develop a vaccine to end the global pandemic has resulted in more than 170 vaccine candidates currently being prosecuted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Vaccines usually need to be tested for more than two years before they can be used. Earlier this week, however, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a “mass launch” of a vaccine was on the horizon early next year.
The UK currently has access to six different Covid-19 vaccine candidates in development.
Professor Robin Shattock, who heads Imperial College London’s Covid-19 vaccination, told the European Parliament on Tuesday that a coronavirus could be approved for use by the middle of next year.
He said studies show promising results and that human volunteers appear to be “responding well” to the vaccine.