To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward the rollout of the covid-19 vaccine to (a) internet and phone engineers and (b) other key workers who need to enter residential premises to carry out their work.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
12 April 2021
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent body made up of scientists and clinical experts who advise the Government on prioritisation of vaccines at a population level. For phase one, the JCVI has prioritised nine priority groups primarily based on age and clinical risk factors in order to meet the Government’s aim of continuing to reduce morbidity, mortality and to protect the National Health Service and social care system.
For phase two of the COVID 19 vaccination programme, the JCVI published its interim advice on 26 February, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age, rather than by occupation. Age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations and because the speed of delivery is crucial as we provide more people with protection from COVID-19. If internet and phone engineers and other key workers who need to enter residential premises to carry out their work are captured in phase one due to age or clinical need, then they will be vaccinated accordingly. However, there are currently no plans to specifically vaccinate by occupation.