In Boris’s statement this morning, the Prime Minister emphasised how important it is to vaccinate the vulnerable first, not the healthy. The NHS strategy to lift pressure on hospitals in order to then lift restrictions on the population requires the vulnerable are at the front of the queue. The Prime Minister made it clear that:
“The average age of covid fatality is over 80, it is significant that we have already vaccinated more than 650,000 people in this age group, meaning that in 2-3 weeks, almost one in four of this age group will have a significant level of immunity.”
By contrast, while as of today Italy has carried out 250,000 vaccines, just 10,295 over 80 year olds have received a dose whereas 71,568 under 40s have. This is where the particulars matter more than the headline numbers. Vaccinating lower age bands has no where near the same effect to reduce the death toll and hospital pressure than vaccinating the elderly.
The reason schools have closed is not because teachers are at high risk, but because if there is more community transmission – which sadly is boosted by schools with this new variant – the virus then finds it easier to make its way to the vulnerable. MPs calling for teachers to jump the queue will only end up extending the lockdown.