MATT Hancock has again rejected calls for teachers to be given priority for a Covid jab before schools return.
Boris Johnson is tomorrow expected to announce schools will reopen from March 8 after kids were forced to study from home during the third national lockdown.
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Kids are expected to go back to school on March 8 (File photo)Credit: Alamy
Matt Hancock said there were no plans for teachers to receive a Covid vaccination earlierCredit: Sky News
But the Health Secretary today said there were no plans for teachers to receive a Covid vaccination before going back to class.
He told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “We’ve asked the expert group, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, what order we should vaccinate in, broadly in order to reduce the number of deaths as fast as possible.
“I think everybody can understand why we asked that as the question.
“They set out the priority groups one to nine, which includes those who are clinically most vulnerable and their carers, and includes the over-50s, going down the age range.
“They are currently considering, after that, what might be the best order in terms of clinical priority.
“There isn’t strong evidence that teachers are more likely to catch Covid than any other group, but I’ll leave it for the JCVI to set out what they think is the best order in which to do this that minimises the number of deaths.”
The JCVI has previously said ethnicity was a focus of the jab rollout.
So far, more than 17million people have received their first dose of the Covid vaccination, with the NHS currently jabbing all those in the top nine priority groups, which were chosen based on age and underlying health conditions.
All those over 50 are expected to receive their vaccination by April 15.
Boris Johnson last night vowed to offer every adult in Britain a jab by the end of July.
Boris Johnson is desperate to get children back into schools by March 8 after months of lost education caused by the pandemicCredit: Reuters
The Prime Minister vowed to speed up the jab rollout so that every adult in Britain is offered the vaccine by the end of JulyCredit: AFP or licensors
By last night, 17,247,442 adults had received the jab, including two-thirds of the 65 to 69 age group
Nine education organisations this week released a statement saying the decision to return all pupils to school on March 8 seemed to be a “reckless course of action”.
They said: “It could trigger another spike in Covid infections, prolong the disruption of education, and risk throwing away the hard-won progress made in suppressing the virus over the course of the latest lockdown.”
And Sage expert John Edmunds today said that there was an argument to focusing on vaccinating kids in the next jab phase.
Speaking this morning, he said: “I think there’s an argument for turning to children as fast as we can.”
Recognising there had been a “major disruption” in school, he said: “In this moment, we can be confident about relaxing the rules.
“Yes, we can relax but we can’t rush it.”
Brits are tomorrow expected to be told that they will be able to go to a pub beer garden from March 29 as Boris Johnson unveils his roadmap out of lockdown 7pm on Monday.
As part of the announcement, non-essential retail is expected to be told they will be able to open before the end of April.
Six people or two households will also be allowed to meet outside as part of the rollout.