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The cabinet’s decision to approve the Covid-19 vaccination of 18-year-olds may have lifted the spirits of some younger people. In truth it is a sign of serious problems in the vaccination programme. Daily jabs have slumped far below the 300,000 per day target. More than half of over-60s have had full or partial vaccination, but the upward momentum has gone. As the government dropped through the age ranges, fresh take-up was disappointing.

The age-based approach was sensible, targeting those most likely to fall seriously ill and rectifying some of the inequality of access that typifies the allocation of scarce health resources. After all, this virus cannot be managed by granting privileged vaccine access to the rich, skilled workers or powerful public sector employees alone...

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