An independent report has been published by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) giving interim advice on priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination.

The interim advice prioritises the vaccination of frontline health and social care workers, then those at increased risk of serious disease and death from Covid-19 infection stratified according to age and risk factors.

Published on 18 June, the preliminary advice was developed following a request from the Depart-ment of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) to facilitate planning for the deployment of any safe and effective vaccine or vaccines as soon as they are licensed for use in the UK. The document also forms a preliminary framework for refining future advice for the basis of a national Covid-19 vaccination strategy.

It said frontline health and social care workers are at increased personal risk of exposure to infection with Covid-19 and of "transmitting that infection to susceptible and vulnerable patients in health and social care settings", so the JCVI considered this group to be the highest priority for vaccination. This would also help maintain resilience in the NHS and for health and social care providers.

According to the committee, the next priority for vaccination is those at increased risk of serious dis-ease and death. It said: "Current evidence strongly indicates that the risk of serious disease and death increases with age and is increased in those with a number of underlying health conditions (see back-ground). Therefore, after health and social care workers, the committee advises the prioritisation of vaccination using a mortality risk-based approach."

There is ongoing work to refine the identification of people at risk of serious disease and mortality from Covid-19 infection. The JCVI noted that early signals have been identified of potential risk fac-tors, including deprivation and ethnicity, as well as age and underlying co-morbid conditions and, as more evidence on at-risk groups emerges, this work will inform the review of the composition, and order of priority, of groups for vaccination.

The interim report is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi

Last reviewed 23 June 2020