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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Home Secretary pushing for officers to be prioritised for vaccines

20 January 2021

Hertfordshire Police Federation chair Geoff Bardell has welcomed the Home Secretary’s efforts to get police officers prioritised in the next wave of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out

Speaking on LBC, Priti Patel said the Government is ‘absolutely working to achieve’ priority access for the police and that she had been telling policing partners to get ready.

“I am pleased to hear the Home Secretary voicing her support for this,” says Geoff, “We all appreciate the need for frontline health workers, the elderly, the vulnerable, residents and staff in care homes to be the first priority as this vaccine is rolled out.

“But, as it stands, police officers will only be vaccinated according to the age bracket they are in and that could mean many will be waiting for months to get the protection that the jab will give them.

“Given that policing is not a role where you cannot adhere to social distancing and one in which officers will go from one job to the next during the course of their duties, they are at risk not just of contracting the virus but also passing it onto their families and other members of the public.

“I think it is only right for the Government to give some priority to police officers when determining the roll-out of the vaccines so that they have some degree of protection but also to help ensure the resilience of the police service since officers falling ill or having to isolate is really having an impact.”

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

Her comments come after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick yesterday 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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