Experts advising the government as the UK prepares to roll out the the COVID-19 vaccine have provided details on who will be offered the jab first.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said care home residents would be a priority after the committee examined data on who suffers the worst outcomes from coronavirus and who is at higher risk of death.

Who will be prioritised?

Prof Wei Shen Lim, of JCVI, said the first phase of the vaccination programme would protect those most at risk and health and social care workers.

He told a Number 10 briefing that from then on the programme would see a banding system, whereby those in the oldest age groups are vaccinated first.

Dr Lim said: “Residents in care homes for older adults and care home workers are the highest priority, following that are those 80 years of age and above alongside frontline health and social care workers.

“The JCVI advice is aimed at maximising benefit from vaccines and therefore it’s aimed at the most vulnerable people – which are people in care homes.

“Whether or not the vaccine itself can be delivered to care homes is obviously an important point, and there will be some flexibility in terms of operational constraints.

“The JCVI’s advice is that every effort should be made to supply vaccines and offer vaccinations to care home residents, whether or not that is actually doable is dependent on deployment and implementation.”

Prof Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chair of Commission on Human Medicine expert working group, added: “We did obviously look at the stability of the vaccine, as you said it is stored at -70 degrees.

“But we were able to look at stability data and there’s stability data showing that it is stable for a short period of time at two to eight degrees, which allows it to be transported to the relevant vaccination sites.”

The UK’s Chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the vaccine approval was “very good news” but warned people to remain vigilant as the vaccine roll out could take time.

He said: “This is a significant step towards tackling Covid-19 and an incredible achievement by all involved,” he said in a statement.

“It will take some time before vaccination is widespread and, for now, we must be very careful to stick with our current measures to keep the virus at bay.”