Less than half of UK’s population could get vaccination, says task force head

London: If an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is found, the UK will first aim to vaccinate about 30 million people, less than half of the country’s population of about 67 million, according to the head of the country’s vaccine task force.

Rather than vaccinating everyone, the aim is to “vaccinate everyone at risk,” Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, told the Financial Times, while detailing the aim of the programme.

According to her, those who believe that everyone in the population will be vaccinated are nurturing a “misguided perception,” said the report on Sunday.

“People keep talking about ‘time to vaccinate the whole population’, but that is misguided,” Bingham was quoted as saying.

“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 carehome workers and the vulnerable,” she added.

Her comments came as the UK last week announced more than 10,000 new cases for the first time since mass testing began.

There were 12,872 new coronavirus cases announced on Saturday. The numbers rose by more than 10,000 on Sunday, reaching a record 22,961.

However, the government said a technical issue meant some cases earlier in the week were not recorded at the time so had been included in the new data.

Bingham said that vaccinating a wider section of the population may make sense only when there comes a vaccine which proves to be 95 per cent effective, which is believed to be quite unlikely, said the Financial Times report.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday warned it may be “bumpy through to Christmas” and beyond as the UK deals with coronavirus.

Speaking at a BBC programme, the PM said there was “hope” in beating Covid, but called on the public to “act fearlessly but with common sense”.

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