Over-40s could get the Covid vaccine by end of March with priority still based on age, the head of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said.
Advisers are said to be looking at offering jabs on the basis of age as rollouts continue, rather than prioritising key workers.
Nearly 17million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Britain to date, statistics released on Thursday showed.
Appearing at an online event on Thursday night, Prof Lim said: “Age dominates by a long way, and almost all the underlying health conditions contribute some increased risk, but not a huge amount of increased risk.”
The top nine priority groups could be vaccinated by the end of March on current trends, meaning the over-60s, over-55s and over-50s could all be dealt with by Easter.
This would mean the over-40s being invited for a jab in less than five weeks.
Government data up to February 17 shows that of the 16,996,806 jabs given in the UK so far, 16,423,082 were first doses – a rise of 482,110 on the previous day.
Some 573,724 were second doses, an increase of 15,147 on figures released the previous day.
The Prime Minister is set to announce the roadmap for loosening restrictions on February 22.
The Prime Minister will chair a virtual gathering of G7 leaders on Friday, including US President Joe Biden in his first major multilateral meeting, to discuss the response to the crisis.