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Vaccine Taskforce to become permanent part of government


Taskforce to merge with UK Health and Security Agency and Office for Life Sciences

The functions of the UK’s much-lauded Vaccine Taskforce will become a permanent part of government structure, according to a 15 June announcement.

The government said it will “ensure the innovative approaches, skills and operating model that have been such a key part of the UK’s pandemic response are retained”.

From October, the vaccine supply responsibilities of the taskforce will move to the UK Health Security Agency, formerly Public Health England, and taskforce staff will become part of a new directorate within the agency.

Meanwhile, the taskforce’s onshoring programme will merge with the Office for Life Sciences, a joint unit of the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the taskforce and UKHSA will “work as one unit to ensure we are prepared for all future health threats, and they will build on the success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to improve our other life-saving immunisation programmes”.

During the pandemic, the taskforce was hailed as a success for securing early access to Covid vaccines for the UK population, making the country the first to administer the jabs.