People in their 40s could get their coronavirus vaccine in just weeks, according to reports.

Advisers are said to prefer continuing to offer jabs on the basis of age, rather than prioritising key workers, once the over-50s have had their jabs.

This could see age brackets widened, giving Britons aged 40 to 49 the chance to be inoculated once the top nine priority groups have first doses.

The rollout is currently focused on all over-65s as well as adults aged 16-64 with health conditions that place them at greater risk.

Within weeks, it will move to the final three priority groups identified already by the government – the over-60s, over-55s and over-50s.

On current trends, the top nine cohorts – an estimated 32million people – could be vaccinated by March 24 if current rates continue.

This would mean the over-40s being invited for a jab in less than five weeks, reports the Daily Mail .

Meanwhile Professor Wei Shen Lim, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said on Thursday that more lives would be saved by targeting age groups than any other factor, meaning it should remain the dominant consideration in determining vaccine priority.

Such acceleration of the vaccine project could also add more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to relax the strict lockdown rules, the Mirror Online reports.

The Prime Minister is set to announce the roadmap out of lockdown on February 22.

Vaccine data analysing how well the jabs are cutting transmission, serious illness and deaths will play a pivotal role in the speed of his unlocking.

So far around 16.5 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

It is thought that schools will be the first to reopen on March 8, followed by the gradual easing of rules.

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And while the age of those being offered the jab is lowering, there is still concern that some communities are not taking up the chance.

Data shows that many black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are still unlikely to accept the jab.

The research also suggests people from black and south Asian backgrounds are more likely to die from coronavirus than white people.

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