A UK government spokesperson said:
The independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has today published its interim advice for phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, setting out that the most effective way to minimise hospitalisations and deaths is to continue to prioritise people by age.
This is because age is assessed to be the strongest factor linked to mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations, and because the speed of delivery is crucial as we provide more people with protection from COVID-19.
All 4 parts of the UK will follow the recommended approach, subject to the final advice given by the independent expert committee. The UK government remains on course to meet its target to offer a vaccine to all those in the phase 1 priority groups by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.
The JCVI are the independent clinical and scientific experts who advise government on which vaccines the UK should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.
The UK-wide agreement to follow the prioritisation advice of the JCVI for phase 1 of the vaccine deployment programme has allowed a consistent rollout of vaccines across the UK and seamless coordination between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. As of yesterday, 18,691,835 people have received a vaccination across the UK.
The governments’ objective for the next phase of vaccine rollout is to further reduce mortality, morbidity and hospitalisations
The interim advice from the JCVI is that the best way to achieve this objective is to continue prioritising people for vaccinations by age, as this will enable the most rapid deployment across the population.
The final advice from the JCVI will be published in due course.