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Most Brits won't get a coronavirus jab in case it causes "some freak harm", a government chief has revealed.
Kate Bingham said ministers are aiming to vaccinate 30m people "most at risk" of the bug – less than half the population of 67m.
The chair of the UK vaccine task force told the Financial Times that vaccinating everyone in the country was “not going to happen”, adding: “We just need to vaccinate everyone at risk.”
She said the government was aiming to vaccinate about 30m people, compared with a UK population of about 67m, if a successful vaccine against Covid-19 was found.
The managing partner of SV Health added: “People keep talking about ‘time to vaccinate the whole population’, but that is misguided.
“There’s going to be no vaccination of people under 18. It’s an adult-only vaccine, for people over 50, focusing on health workers and carehome workers and the vulnerable.”
Ms Bingham added that the UK's vaccination policy would be aimed at those “most at risk”.
And that giving people who are relatively safe from suffering major Covid-19 symptoms the jab “could cause them some freak harm”, meaning it's not worth the risk.
Her comments come after under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the country was in for a "bumpy winter" yesterday.
He insisted he was a "freedom-loving Tory" as he urged Brits to live "fearlessly but with common sense".
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David Nabarro, special envoy to the World Health Organization on Covid-19, also told the FT that addressing the coronavirus crisis was “not going to be a case of everyone getting vaccinated”.
He said: “There will be a definite analysis of who is the priority for the vaccine, based on where they live, their occupation and their age bracket.
“We’re not fundamentally using the vaccine to create population immunity, we’re just changing the likelihood people will get harmed or hurt. It will be strategic.”
The latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in the UK states that “simple age-based [vaccination] programmes are usually easier to deliver and therefore achieve higher vaccine uptake”.
It adds that health and social care workers would be a high priority.
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