Care home residents and staff will be the first in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is approved, according to new government advice.
The advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation came as drug company Novavax launched its final trial of a vaccine on 10,000 volunteers in the UK, the Daily Mail reported.
The Novavax trial is the second vaccine in the UK to enter phase 3 following Oxford University over the summer.
It is hope that a vaccine will be ready for roll-out in the first-half of 2021.
In further news, the government announced it would be giving 11,000 tablets to care homes to keep residents in touch with their relatives over the summer as large parts of the UK have gone into lockdown.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “I know how challenging the current situation is for staff, residents and families, particularly when loved ones can’t visit.
“These tablets will be the gateway for so many residents to connect with loved ones, and allow staff to quickly access digital NHS services and information, to help stop COVID-19 outbreaks in their tracks.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, said: “Communicating with families and with other professionals is vital during this difficult period and we welcome the distribution of iPads, which should enable care providers to have better access to NHS support, and also enable people to keep in contact with their relatives.”