Priti Patel says police SHOULD be a priority for vaccine
Home Secretary Priti Patel says police SHOULD be a priority for vaccine and she is ‘working to absolutely try’ to bump them up the queue after Met Chief Dame Cressida Dick’s intervention
- Priti Patel today said she believes police officers should be prioritised for jabs
- She said she is ‘working to absolutely try’ to bump police officers up the list
- Comes after Dame Cressida Dick said she was ‘baffled’ by vaccine priority list
Priti Patel today said police officers should be bumped up the coronavirus vaccine priority list after Dame Cressida Dick said she was ‘baffled’ why they had not been already.
The Home Secretary said she is ‘working to absolutely try and make that happen’ amid growing calls for frontline workers to get the jab after the first phase of giving them to the most vulnerable people has been completed.
Ms Patel said the issue of who will be given priority is an active discussion within the Government and ‘it is being looked at’.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said this morning she is ‘working to absolutely try’ to bump police officers up the queue for coronavirus vaccines
Dame Cressida, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, yesterday questioned why police officers are not at the front of the queue for the vaccine.
Ms Patel responded to the remarks this morning, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Well, it is being looked at. I have been working on this for a number of weeks alongside Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock and he is supporting all our efforts across government on this.
‘I have already been in touch with our policing partners, so the NPCC, National Police Chiefs Council, and in fact the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, I speak to her regularly, a couple of times a week in fact, about getting our police, frontline, our forces ready to take the vaccine when that comes.’
Asked directly if there is a possibility of the police being bumped up the queue, Ms Patel said: ‘It is both police, fire and other frontline workers, and the Health Secretary and I are working to absolutely try and make that happen so I’ll be very clear about that.
‘This isn’t just something we are thinking about. There is a lot of work taking place in Government right now.
‘If the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says that is a possibility, we can make it happen, we have the supply, we have the logistical plans in place – we will absolutely work to make that happen.’
Dame Cressida had told LBC Radio yesterday: ‘In cohort five to nine you have people in what I might call my age group and I am baffled really why, but obviously this is a decision that the Government’s made so far on the basis of something called the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), who are experts.
‘But in many other countries, police officers and law enforcement colleagues are being prioritised and I want my officers to get the vaccination.’
There are nine categories in the JCVI’s phase one vaccination priority list, starting with residents in care homes and ending with people over the age of 50.
The Government has said it will listen to the JCVI’s recommendations on who should be at the top of the priority list for phase two of the rollout.
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