Kate Bingham, head of the UK’s vaccine task force, said that vaccinating everyone in the country for the coronavirus was ‘not going to happen’.
In an interview with the Financial Times she said: “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 care home workers and the vulnerable.”
Bingham’s comments follow that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who on Sunday (Oct 4) said he expected the next few months of the Covid-19 pandemic to be bumpy, but that things would look radically different in the spring.
“People keep talking about time to vaccinate the whole population, but that is misguided,” she said to the FT, adding that vaccinating healthy people, who are much less likely to have severe outcomes from Covid-19, “could cause them some freak harm”.
The UK suffered Europe’s worst death toll from the virus with the current total standing at over 42,300.
The Times, citing government scientists, reported last week that a mass roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine in the UK could be finished in as little as three months, adding that health officials estimate that every adult could receive a dose of the vaccine within six months.
Bingham said the government was aiming to vaccinate about 30 million people, compared with a UK population of about 67 million, if a successful vaccine against Covid-19 was found, according to the FT.