When will teachers get the vaccine? Will key workers be prioritised for Covid jab - second phase explained

Age and ethnicity could be prioritised over profession

The most vulnerable people in the UK are being prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Jabs are being offered based on how at-risk someone is from the virus.

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And the vaccination rollout recently entered its next stage after more than 15 million people in the country were inoculated.

It was thought that teachers would be next in line when the second phase of vaccinations begins (Shutterstock)

Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are being administered, while a third from Moderna is due to arrive in spring.

So, when will teachers get the vaccine and will key workers be given priority?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is being given the vaccine now?

The jabs rollout has been ramped up across the UK after the government met its target of offering a vaccine to everyone in the top four priority groups by 15 February.

That includes residents in a care home for older adults and their carers, over 80s and frontline health workers, over 75s, and over 70s and clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Some areas in England are now inviting over 65s for their first dose, as well as some people over 16 with underlying health conditions that make them susceptible to the virus.

The priority groups were decided based on data from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which determined that age was the most important factor in coronavirus deaths.

The government’s aim is to vaccinate the five remaining priority groups by the end of April.

These are: people aged 65 and over, those aged 16-65 with underlying health conditions, people aged 60 and over, people aged 55 and over and people aged 50 and over.

Groups five to nine cover about 17 million people in the UK.

When will teachers get the vaccine?

Once those groups have been inoculated, focus will turn to the 21 million people left in the population who are under 50 years old with no underlying health conditions.

It was thought that teachers, police and other key workers would be next in line when the second phase of vaccinations begins.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the next phase could focus on people most at-risk from catching coronavirus due to their profession.

As well as teachers and police officers, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday 16 February that prison wardens and supermarket workers could also be considered for prioritisation.

However, officials are expected to recommend that people continue to be invited for vaccines based on their age, as opposed to their job.

A source on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and immunisation (JCVI), which advises the government on who should be prioritised for the jab, told The Telegraph that ethnicity was also a prominent factor after age.

"The mortality figures for people from South Asian backgrounds are particularly worrying,” the source said.

“Once we get down to those in their 50s, we want to be reaching out especially to these ethnic minority groups."

The source also said prioritising people based on their profession would "create too much complication" and "risk slowing the rollout down".

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What did the vaccines minister say?

Mr Zahawi did not mention age or ethnicity as factors when talking to ITV about prioritisation.

Later, he said ministers were going back to the JCVI to ask “the question as to what should phase two should look like”.

He told BBC Radio 4: “Should we be looking at those in professions such as police officers, teachers or shop workers that come in much greater volumes of the virus, should they be prioritised?

“Or, what do they recommend be the prioritisation so we continue to bear down on serious infection and hospitalisation.

“I think it’s right to ask them the question, to say, clinically do you think we should prioritise a profession because they come into greater contact, or should we be looking at other evidence because we want to make sure those in greatest need receive the vaccines first.”

Teachers have not been found to be at more risk of dying from coronavirus than the general population, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

They also do not appear to catch Covid-19 more than other professions.

Yet there has been public support for teachers to be vaccinated earlier since schools have been found to aid the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, ethnicity has been shown to be a large risk factor when it comes to contracting the virus and developing severe illness.

Where will I get the vaccine?

People are currently being immunised at a number of places across the country.

You will be invited to book an appointment by the NHS via phone or letter as soon as it is your turn.

More and more vaccination centres and hubs are opening in England so people have the choice of where to receive their jab.

Right now, vaccines are being administered in hospital hubs for NHS staff and patients, GP surgeries for over 80s, care homes, pharmacies and sports stadiums and conference centres acting as mass vaccination centres.