Civil Nuclear Police Federation calls on Government to add police officers to COVID-19 vaccination priority list
The Civil Nuclear Police Federation is calling on the Government to ensure police officers have a place in the queue for the COVID vaccine so they can continue to stay healthy and protect the public.
The Government has failed to announce a decision on whether police officers will be added to any priority list for the vaccine, despite weeks of high-level lobbying over the issue.
Given their absolute front line role in protecting the public from the deadly virus, CNC Federation Chief Executive Gary Thwaite wants reassurances from the Government that officers will be offered the vaccine as soon as possible.
Whilst "frontline health and social care workers" are second in the Government's published priority list for the vaccine roll-out, police officers do not feature at all on the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
"It's not very clear at the moment when police officers will be offered the vaccine, and we need some thought given as to when that will happen," he said.
"It's not about jumping the queue or getting ahead of other key workers or the vulnerable, but officers are rightly worried that their daily engagement with the public leaves them particularly vulnerable to contracting the virus".
"With this new variant, we are running the risk of entire shifts being wiped out.
"We deal with the public, and we protect vital national security infrastructure.
"The threat of terrorism hasn't gone away, and we are in real risk of our defence against it being weakened," he added.
"I don't want CNC officers to be forgotten about when it comes to vaccinations."
Gary says the existing roll-out plan should include all police officers and says the Prime Minister needs to come forward and confirm his support for police officers getting the vaccine as an important priority so that we can maintain the resources to the public and our key sites," he said.
According to the Government, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation "does not advise further prioritisation by occupation during the first phase of the [Vaccination] programme."
It adds: "Occupational prioritisation could form part of a second phase of the programme, which would include healthy individuals from 16 years of age up to 50 years of age, subject to consideration of the latest data on vaccine safety and effectiveness."