The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), the government’s advisory body on the vaccination process, handed their final recommendations to ministers on Sunday.
As reported in The Times, it has been accepted that occupation will not be considered as a factor when deciding the next stages of the vaccine rollout. The JCVI did conclude however that local authorities should not be stopped from mass vaccination in institutional settings like prisons where distancing is impractical thus outbreaks are more likely.
Community, representing thousands of essential workers, challenges this recommendation and urges government to protect essential workers through priority access to the vaccine.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, said:
“We are disappointed by the recommendations from the JCVI that workers from certain occupations should not be given priority for the Coronavirus vaccine. We have, as a society, already recognised the need for some workers in high-risk environments, such as care homes and hospitals, to be given vaccine priority.
We firmly believe that all those who do essential work, who are unable to work from home and where social distancing is impossible, should be given priority access to the vaccine. Community will continue to fight for our members who are in workplaces and are at additional risk. We urge the government to heed our calls and protect this vital workforce.”
If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 389 6332.