Teachers could be next in line for Covid vaccines after February - the rumours analysed
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said in a briefing with MPs on Tuesday (5 Jan) that teachers and other frontline key workers could be included in the next stage of vaccinations, alongside the five secondary priority groups.
The briefing was held with Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, to discuss with MPs the decision to close schools as part of the newly introduced lockdown in England.
Teachers and other frontline key workers with underlying health conditions, or who are extremely clinically vulnerable, are already slated to receive the vaccine in either the first or second phase.
Phase one of the vaccine rollout, which is currently underway, will see the most vulnerable groups within society receive the vaccine, totalling 13 million people. The government hopes to complete this phase by mid-February.
Speaking to Huffpost, an unnamed MP who was in the briefing reportedly said that Deputy Chief Medical Officer announced: “When the first four groups are completed, then frontline key workers would be vaccinated and this would include consideration of teachers.”
However, a Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said this was not correct, adding: “DCMO made clear teachers with specific underlying health conditions would receive the vaccine as part of the relevant JCVI prioritisation group.”
Who will the vaccines be available to first?
The priority for rollout of the vaccine is not decided by ministers, but by an advisory committee called the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI)
Chair of the JCVI, Wei Shin Lim, has previously said that key workers will not receive the jab until the nine priority groups have been vaccinated.
The existing nine priority groups for rollouts of the vaccine according to the JCVI, as of 30 December, are:
- Elderly care home residents and carers
- All those 80 and over, and frontline health and social care workers
- All those 75 and over
- All those 70 and over, and clinically extremely vulnerable
- All those 65 and over
- Anyone aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease or mortality
- All those 60 and over
- All those 55 and over
- All those 50 and over