UK to follow clinical advice in deploying COVID-19 vaccine, Hancock says

FILE PHOTO: A syringe with a vaccine is seen ahead of trials by volunteers testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and taking part in the country's human clinical trial for potential vaccines at the Wits RHI Shandukani Research Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko//File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will roll out COVID-19 vaccinations when they are ready based on clinical advice about who should be prioritised, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, after a report that half the population could miss out on the jabs.

Asked about comments by the chair of the government’s vaccine taskforce to the Financial Times that vaccines would probably only be available to less than half the UK population, Hancock said the taskforce had done good work in procuring vaccines but that deployment was his department’s responsibility.

“We will take the advice on the deployment of the vaccine, based on clinical advice from the Joint Committee on vaccinations and immunizations,” Hancock told parliament.

Reporting by William James, writing by Alistair Smout