The chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation has welcomed the Home Secretary’s efforts to prioritise police officers during the coronavirus vaccine roll-out.
Liz Groom was speaking after Priti Patel told LBC Radio: “The Government is absolutely working towards getting priority access for the police” and that Health Secretary Nick Hancock was supporting her “100 per cent on this”.
Ms Patel confirmed in the interview with Nick Ferrari that she has been working with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to essentially fast-track the police, firefighters, teachers and other frontline workers to be included in the next phase of the vaccine programme.
Liz said: “This is good news, particularly as the virus has been weaponised by some members of society and social distancing is not always possible for officers on the frontline.
“We obviously understand that the most vulnerable people need to be vaccinated first and foremost but police officers are putting themselves and their families at risk on a daily basis while also possibly, and unknowingly, spreading the virus among the public they meet.
“The current roll-out programme means they would be called for the vaccine purely based on their age so we’re pleased that the Home Secretary is pushing the Government for that to change. It will mean that officers are protected but also the service and its resilience as a whole will also be protected as those becoming ill or having to isolate is having a devastating impact.”
Ms Patel’s comments follow Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick telling LBC yesterday she is “baffled” that officers are not a higher priority in the vaccine queue.
National Federation chair John Apter has also been calling for police officers to be prioritised in the vaccine roll-out programme.