High-risk groups should have priority for COVID-19 vaccine – poll

Image of coronavirus and a syringe to show Support for developers of COVID-19 medicinal products

The biopharmaceutical industry believes that high-risk groups should be prioritised for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a poll by GlobalData.

Nearly half of global respondents to the poll by believe that those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, and at-risk ethnicities, should get first access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

Around 20% believe that those in high-risk geographic areas with high infection rates should get a vaccine first, while a third of respondents believe that there should be equal access to everyone regardless of risk level or geography.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, said: “High-risk groups have seen the highest mortality rate during the pandemic, and introducing a vaccine of even modest efficacy in this group could significantly reduce mortality and the need for hospitalisation, greatly relieving stresses already seen on healthcare systems and economies.

She adds that equal consideration should also be given to those who provide aid and care to senior citisens, along with police officers and firefighters.

“Healthcare workers should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination due to their close contact to COVID-19 patients and its concomitant higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Protected healthcare workers would also prevent a shortage of workers should the virus peak in an area.”