16 February 2021
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed comments from the Home Secretary urging forces to plan for receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.
Priti Patel told LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast radio programme late last week that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was looking at how officers can receive the vaccine.
And Ms Patel said that she had instructed police chiefs to begin planning the logistics around the roll-out.
Asked by the host why she was waiting on the JCVI, the body in charge of prioritising the vaccine roll-out, Ms Patel said: “Because politicians cannot dictate to JCVI in terms of the prioritisation.
“The JCVI are making the right decisions to actually reduce hospitalisations and deaths, so they have prioritised the vaccine roll-out on that basis and alongside individuals, those sectors, including professions that are at high occupational risk, and police officers are in that category.
“So they are looking now at how we can make sure that police and others that have high occupational risk will get the vaccine.
“And that is alongside the fact that police officers are receiving the vaccine, those that are at risk, and also there are other police forces that do have these informal ways of working with CCGs (clinical commissioning groups).
“I absolutely want to see police officers receiving the vaccine across the country, which is why I’ve asked the 43 forces to get their plans ready for vaccine roll-out.”
Tony said: “It’s pleasing to hear that planning for the vaccine roll-out for officers is being stepped up, and that the JCVI is looking at how officers will get the jab.
“It’s going to a big logistical task, so we need forces to have as much information as early as possible. It’s right that priority has been given to vulnerable groups, NHS staff and care workers, which we’ve fully supported.
“But we’ve pushed for police officers to be considered for prioritisation so that we can ensure they can continue to police the pandemic, protect the public and reduce the risk to themselves and their families.”
Watch the interview with Ms Patel.