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World News

UK's vaccine task force head says vaccinating all of UK 'not going to happen' - Financial Times

FILE PHOTO: A woman wears a protective face mask as she walks past an information sign at the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, Britain September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters) - Britain’s vaccine task force chair, Kate Bingham, said that vaccinating everyone in the country for the coronavirus was ‘not going to happen’, telling the Financial Times that they need to vaccinate only those at risk.

“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 care home workers and the vulnerable”, Bingham said in an interview with the newspaper.

Bingham’s comments follow that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson who on Sunday said he expected the next few months of the COVID-19 pandemic to be bumpy, but that things would look radically different in the spring.

“People keep talking about time to vaccinate the whole population, but that is misguided,” she said to the FT, adding that vaccinating healthy people, who are much less likely to have severe outcomes from COVID-19, “could cause them some freak harm”.

Britain suffered Europe’s worst death toll from the virus with the current total standing at over 42,300.

The Times, citing government scientists, reported last week that a mass roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine in Britain could be finished in as little as three months, adding that health officials estimate that every adult could receive a dose of the vaccine within six months.

Bingham said the government was aiming to vaccinate about 30 million people, compared with a UK population of about 67 million, if a successful vaccine against COVID-19 was found, according to the FT.

Reporting by Rebekah Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney and Daniel Wallis

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