UK committee: Vaccine rollout 'should continue by age'

Britain's vaccine advice committee has said that the COVID-19 vaccine rollout should continue to prioritize people by age - rather than occupation.

Some frontline workers such as police and teachers had been calling for prioritization for shots on the basis of their jobs.

But Chair for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation Professor Wei Shen Lim said the current system was the best way to keep up the pace of immunisations.

"Of all the different approaches to vaccination, getting vaccines into arms as quickly as possible is the fastest way and the best way to maximise benefit to the population. Taking all of these factors into account, we advise that the offer of vaccination in phase two should still be age based, starting with the oldest and proceeding in the following order: Those age 40 to 49, followed by those age 30 to 39, and lastly, those age 18 to 29. // An occupation-based vaccine program has never been tested before on a large scale in the UK, it is in that sense untested and untried. So trying to switch from an age-based program to an occupation-based programme will be more complex and potentially introduce more delays to the program."

Britain, whose rollout has been among the fastest in the world, aims to complete phase 1 of its vaccine program by mid-April.