Jonathan Van-Tam has said the Government will need to decide on providing vaccines to occupations more at risk of contracting coronavirus.

The Deputy Chief Officer appeared on a special programme with the BBC to answer questions from the public as the UK became the first country in the world to have a coronavirus vaccine clinically approved.

Yesterday he said the virus will be “with human kind forever” as he urged people to take the vaccine if they want to return to some kind of normal.

But appearing on BBC News, Professor Van-Tam faced a question on whether educational workers will be considered for the vaccine as the government continues to place high importance on causing as little disruption to children’s education as possible.

Van-Tam admitted there were no current plans to target specific occupations, particularly teachers.

He said: “There are no occupational groups on the phase one list and if we can get through phase one and it’s a highly-effective vaccine and there is very, very high uptake, then we could in theory take out 99% of hospitalisations and deaths relating to Covid-19.

“You can see that’s why the phase one list is what it is, that’s the primary ambition.

“It’s a completely relevant question that we can’t decide on yet because we don’t have the data about how these vaccines will perform in real life.”

He continued to explain that occupations at risk such as teachers are a priority for the Government.

“It’s very much on the Government’s mind that it will need to make some decisions about how to go further, whether to go further and they will me ministerial decisions,” he said.

“JCVI has identified that the second part of the programme could take into account occupations, potentially.

“But, if you are a teacher and you have an ‘at risk’ condition, you’re going to be called in your place in the order in phase one.

“If you’re a teacher who is 58 years of age, you’re going to be called in your place in phase one, so it’s not kind of all or nothing.”