Derbyshire Police Federation

Progress made in giving officers vaccine priority

19 January 2021

The Home Secretary says Health Secretary Matt Hancock is “100 per cent” supporting her efforts to make police a priority as the Covid-19 vaccine rolls out.

Speaking on LBC, Priti Patel said the Government is ‘absolutely working to achieve’ priority access for the police and that she has told police partners to get ready for when the job is made available.

Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton has welcomed the news.

He said: “I am extremely pleased to hear that the Home Secretary is supporting our calls to make police a higher priority as more and more people are being given the jab.

“The Federation has been urging the Government to act on this, so it is good to know our voices are finally being heard.

“Of course, we understand the need for the elderly, vulnerable and frontline health workers to be the absolute first priority as the vaccine is rolled out and we completely support the efforts of our Public Health colleagues in their drive to get them protected. 

"Our message is that when the most vulnerable are safe it is very important to ensure that there are enough fit and healthy police officers out there to protect the public, and that they aren’t inadvertently spreading the virus to the people who need their help.  We are seeing large numbers of officers contracting the virus and larger numbers at home self-isolating because they have been in contact with someone who tested positive," added Tony.

“Officers risk their own health every day to protect the public. Social distancing is not always achievable in our job, which means not only are we in danger of contracting the virus but we’re also making our families, colleagues and the public vulnerable too.

“It is reassuring that the Government is working towards giving some priority to police officers during this global pandemic.”

The Home Secretary told Nick Ferrari on LBC that she had been working with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Mr Hancock to push policing, firefighters and teachers when it comes to getting the vaccine. 

Her comments come after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told LBC she was “baffled” as to why officers were not nearer the front of the queue for the jab.

National Federation chair John Apter has also been calling for police officers to be prioritised in the vaccine roll-out programme. 

Listen to the LBC interview.

 

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