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Hertfordshire Police Federation

Home Secretary questioned on officers’ jabs

16 February 2021

Hertfordshire Police Federation secretary Al Wollaston 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.”

Al said: “I was pleased to hear the Home Secretary’s views on this issue and particularly her support for police officers receiving the jab as some kind of priority. We have completely understood the need to get the clinically vulnerable, frontline health and care staff vaccinated first but now that we are moving down the priority groups I think there needs to be a re-think in terms of police officers and other frontline workers.

“There are a number of groups of workers, including the police, the fire service and prison officers, who have been on the frontline providing critical public services throughout the pandemic and they should be offered the vaccination to protect their health and that of their families but also to reduce the risks of them unwittingly passing on the virus to others.

“It’s going to a big logistical task to get the vaccines out to police officers across England and Wales so they will need information as soon as possible so that this can be organised.”  

Watch the interview with Ms Patel.

 

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