Representatives are warning that the next phase of the Covid vaccine rollout could be hampered by a lack of planning

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MPs have warned that a lack of planning at Whitehall could affect the start of the next phase of the coronavirus vaccination program.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee praised “global” efforts to strike the most vulnerable, but warned that it was essential not to lose momentum.

The government said it is on track to achieve its goal of providing a vaccine to nearly 15 million people in four main priority groups – including health workers, primary care workers and over 70 – by Monday.

Even so, the committee said there was still “a lot to do” to achieve its next goal of increasing the blow to 17.7 million in the next five priority groups – including all people over their 50s – here at the end of April.

Coronavirus vaccine in numbers: More than 13.5 million people receive their first vaccine

“We are concerned about the departments’ lack of planning for the next phase of the program and learning from what has already been accomplished which will be so vital to the success of the program,” he said.

Although the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) is confident that the UK has access to more than adequate doses, the committee said there are “concerns” about the supply chain.

He said ministers need to ensure that plans are in place to respond to potential future developments such as the need for an annual vaccination program or discovery of new types of the virus.

The committee said that the government will continue to face “significant challenges” in ensuring that it gets the vaccine to “the right people at the right time,” especially given the diverse handling requirements of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

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Coronavirus: The first patient in the UK to receive the covid-19 vaccine

Staff praised Margaret Kennan, 90, on her return to her ward after becoming the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine

Pennsylvania

Staff praised Margaret Kennan, 90, on her return to her ward after becoming the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine

Pennsylvania

Staff praised Margaret Kennan, 90, on her return to her ward after becoming the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine

Pennsylvania

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Staff praised Margaret Kennan, 90, on her return to her ward after becoming the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine

Pennsylvania

Margaret Kennan, 90, is back at her ward after becoming the first person in the UK to receive the Pfizer / Bionic Covid-19 vaccine.

Pennsylvania

Margaret Keenan, 90, is the first British patient to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital,

Pennsylvania

Margaret Kennan, 90, speaks to the media after becoming the first British patient to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital

Pennsylvania

Nurse May Parsons is preparing Margaret Keenan, 90, to be the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer / Bionic Covid-19 vaccine

Pennsylvania

Margaret Kennan, 90, walks with nurse May Parsons (left) after she becomes the first British patient to receive a Pfizer / Bionic Covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital

Pennsylvania

Margaret Kennan, 90, walks with nurse May Parsons (left) after she becomes the first British patient to receive a Pfizer / Bionic Covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital

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Pennsylvania

Margaret Kennan, 90, speaks to the media after becoming the first British patient to receive the Pfizer / BioNtech covid-19 vaccine at Coventry University Hospital

Pennsylvania

The committee said that there is a risk that his plans for the program “do not meet the expectations of the public,” stressing the need for a clear message.

“The government sometimes had difficulty communicating clearly what to expect from the immunization program to the public,” he says. “Otherwise, it may not know who will be able to access the vaccine, how and when.”

“With misinformation about vaccines spreading across various digital platforms, clear government communication is especially important to maintaining public confidence and understanding.”

The commission said there was a “strong case” for re-examining groups that should be prioritized after vaccinating the most vulnerable – especially frontline workers who are most at risk of transmitting the virus from society.

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He also said the government “could have been more transparent” about how decisions were made about the program.

It is unclear why the original head of the Vaccine Task Force, Kate Bingham – appointed by Boris Johnson – when nearly a fifth of the task force members registered a single conflict of interest, even though most of them were “minors”.

“We recognize the tremendous efforts of all involved in developing, purchasing, testing and delivering vaccines,” said Meg Hillier, committee chairperson.

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The UK has been at the forefront of global efforts to find and administer a vaccine, but now is not the time to rest from our laurels – Covid-19 continues to be a major threat to the health and economy of our country.

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“Vaccination is a key part of addressing this threat and the committee is calling on the government to build on this strong start, including building on work to strengthen the UK manufacturing base.”

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