People in their 40s will be the next age group to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, officials have confirmed.

However, the decision has been criticised by some as teachers and police officers have been campaigning to be prioritised in the next phase.

But, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said choosing to vaccinate people based on what they do for a living is a more a “complex” approach and prioritising age will be more effective.

More than 18 million people in the UK have received a first dose so far and the Queen has now waded into the subject by urging the public to “think about other people” and get a COVID jab when offered one.

Both the monarch, 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, received their first doses of the vaccine in January.

Earlier this week it was announced that everyone on the GP learning disability register would be prioritised for a COVID vaccine.

The decision was made after radio presenter Jo Whiley’s sister, who has a rare genetic syndrome, was admitted to hospital with coronavirus the same day her famous sibling was offered a vaccine.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, she said: “It felt like the cruellest twist in the world because I’ve been asking for her, wanting for her to have her vaccine for a year.

“Then, for me to suddenly get a call to say that I’ve got the vaccine, it just felt hideously unfair.”

People with a “severe or profound” learning disability in England and Wales had already been placed into older people.

Adults with Down’s Syndrome were part of priority group 4 and will have already been invited for theirs, but now Public Health England has confirmed that everyone on the GP’s learning disability register will get called up as part of priority group six.

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