The Government has set out who will be next to receive coronavirus vaccines once all the over-50s and most vulnerable have had their jabs.

Officials hope to have given a first dose to the top nine priority groups by mid-April, and to all adults by the end of July.

People aged 40-49 will be prioritised next for a Covid-19 vaccine, with scientific advisers saying the move would “provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time”.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has considered whether groups such as teachers and police officers should be vaccinated next, but concluded that the most effective way to prevent death and hospital admission is to carry on prioritising people by age.

It said modelling studies for phase 2 of the vaccination programme also indicate that the speed of vaccine deployment is the most important factor in helping prevent severe illness and death.

When will you get a vaccination?

This means that in phase 2, priority will be given in the following order:

  • All those aged 40-49
  • All those aged 30-39
  • All those aged 18-29

These groups will be vaccinated once all those in phase 1 (the over-50s and most vulnerable) have received a jab.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 chair for JCVI, said: “Vaccinations stop people from dying and the current strategy is to prioritise those who are more likely to have severe outcomes and die from Covid-19.

“The evidence is clear that the risk of hospitalisation and death increases with age.

“The vaccination programme is a huge success and continuing the age-based rollout will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”

The JCVI committee said vaccination targeting occupational groups (such as teachers) would be more complex to deliver and may slow down the vaccine programme, leaving some vulnerable people at higher risk for longer.

How will people know when it is their turn?

As with the ongoing rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, people will be contacted by their GP or the NHS to book an appointment.

Unlike the top nine groups, which were more or less split up in increments of five years, the new recommendations cover a whole age group – 40s, 30s, and then those aged 18 to 29.

What about calls for key workers, like teachers and the police, to be next on the list?

The data does not suggest teachers are any more at risk of being infected than any other member of the population.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi previously told the Commons Science and Technology Committee it was his “instinct” that those most likely to come into contact with a viral load – teachers, shop workers, policemen and women – would be at the highest risk of getting the virus, and therefore should be the ones to focus on.

However, he added he would be guided by the JCVI.

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So why has the JCVI made the recommendations it has?

The JCVI said evidence suggests an age-based approach remains the most effective way of reducing death and hospitalisation from Covid-19.

For phase two, modelling studies also indicate the speed of vaccine deployment is the most important factor in maximising public health benefits against severe outcomes.

The committee said mass vaccination targeting occupational groups would be more complex to deliver and may slow down the vaccine programme, leaving some more vulnerable people at higher risk for longer.

It said operationally, simple and easy-to-deliver programmes are critical for rapid deployment and high vaccine uptake.

What about other high risk groups?

Other people at higher risk of hospitalisation from the virus include men, those from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, those with a body mass index over 30, and those living in deprived neighbourhoods.

The JCVI strongly advises that these people promptly take up the offer of vaccination when they are offered.

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