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NPCC responds to news that officers will not be prioritised in vaccine rollout

26 Feb 2021

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has today published its interim advice for phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

The advice recommends that vaccinations should continue to be based on age ranges rather than by occupation. Police chiefs have been clear in their discussions with government that there is a very strong case for officers to be vaccinated as soon as possible, after the most vulnerable have received theirs

In response to today's news, National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said:

“We are disappointed that frontline police officers and staff have not been prioritised in the next stage of the vaccine rollout. Those on the frontline interact with members of the public on a daily basis and due to the nature of our work, social distancing is not always possible, and many have been subject to disgraceful assaults involving coughing and spitting. This increases the risk of transmission to officers as well as to the public.

“We have always supported the decision to prioritise the most vulnerable in the vaccine rollout but asked that frontline officers and staff should then be considered as a priority group. We accept that the JCVI has concluded that the best way of protecting those who potentially have higher risk of exposure to the virus, like police officers, is for them to receive vaccines in line with their age-group, however, we remain disappointed for our officers and staff. Forces will be communicating with their officers and staff so they understand what to expect in receiving their vaccination.”