SAGE sub-group member Mike Tildesley urged Boris Johnson to be clear on his message that everyone offered a coronavirus vaccine must take it. He claimed that younger people may not think the jab is important. Speaking to LBC, Mr Tildesley said: “Clear messaging is what the Government need to be doing in all aspects of this pandemic.
“The vaccination is one part of it and I think it’s really important that we stress not just for older people but as we start to move down the age groups.
“There’s a real concern actually that younger people may not be as willing to have the vaccine because they think that they’re not in the high-risk groups.
“I think that it’s really important that we get the message out that regardless of your own risk when offered the vaccine we need as many people as possible to take it up so that we can protect the population particularly those who are vulnerable.
“They may have taken the vaccine but maybe the one who the vaccine isn’t effective on.”
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It comes as a former Government adviser said future Covid vaccination programmes may only offer the jab to those at highest risk of severe disease.
A future programme could fall in line with the current flu jab scheme and only see those at highest risk offered a vaccine, Professor David Salisbury said.
The former director of immunisation at the Department of Health also said that people shouldn’t expert a vaccine “menu” and should accept whichever Covid-19 jab they are offered.
The Chatham House Covid-19 briefing heard that it was difficult to predict when social distancing might end and that people will “have to come to terms with some social distancing” for the foreseeable future.
“And if they can be adapted to multivalent – someone will have to do the sort of forecasting that we currently do for seasonal flu about what we’re going to put in this year’s mix.
“And then (the question is) who we’re going to vaccinate.
“I think that the first order of choice there is – we vaccinate the risk groups.
“And the reason that we’ve actually had the risk groups is that they’re the most likely to get seriously ill and die. And that’s mapping very nicely on to our seasonal flu vaccine programme.”