To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2021 to Question 130071, what consideration the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation gave to the challenges of maintaining social distancing among adults with learning difficulties in care homes when prioritising vaccinations for people aged over 75.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
19 January 2021
The current evidence shows that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in protecting people from symptomatic disease, but there is not yet evidence to show whether having the vaccine prevents infections and onward transmission of the virus. Therefore, those who have been vaccinated may still be able to pass on the virus and should continue to follow the Government’s advice on social distancing. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised direct protection of those most at risk of mortality. Evidence indicates that the risk of mortality increases rapidly with age, with the oldest in the population at the highest risk of mortality.
The JCVI has advised vaccination of all adults 50 years of age and over and clinical risk groups from 16 years of age and over in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The clinical risk groups include those with severe and profound learning disabilities and with Down’s syndrome. Vaccination is also advised in older children with serious neuro-disabilities requiring residential care and in frontline health and social care workers.
Any evidence on the impact of the vaccines on transmission will be considered in deliberations on the second phase of the COVID-19 programme, including transmission in closed settings.