Friday, November 27, 2020

Workers who deal with the public should be prioritised for vaccination

This is really important. We have vaccines coming forward. It is vital that they are given to the right people, the workers who are facing Joe Public every day of their working lives. Please take a minute to  send a version of this to your MP 

John Penrose MP

House of Commons

London SW1A 0AA



Dear John


Prioritisation of Covid-19 vaccine


We have had welcome news this week about three new vaccines coming through. I have been looking at the preliminary advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation issued on September 25th. (JCVI: updated interim advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination Basically, they are prioritising the vulnerable for vaccination, together with front-line health care workers and care home staff.

There has been an intense dispute in the media over the past few weeks around the balance between the need to limit transmission of Covid-19 and the need to keep the economy going. You will have heard it argued forcefully from some of your colleagues that “the cure is worse than the disease”.  In many ways the debate is based on a false dichotomy, but let that pass. The key point is that in the case of the vaccination programme, vaccination of the workers who encounter the public is an effective way of keeping the economy going while reducing transmission.


The JCVI recognises this in principle, since it puts Health and Social Care Workers into the priority group. A lot of people feel that all workers who are in daily contact with the public should be offered vaccination early in the programme. Teachers, bus drivers, delivery drivers, public transport workers, postal delivery workers, police officers,and security guards are people who come to mind.


The point is that anyone in contact with a lot of people is both at increased risk of contracting Covid, and once infected, is likely to infect a large number of people in the 4-5 days when they are pre-symptomatic but shedding virus. By protecting these workers, we will be simultaneously keeping the economy going, and also reducing the R number.


I hope you will see the advantage of the double value of this approach. I am concerned at the increasing paranoia that is manifesting itself on Twitter from several influential right-wing “Covid sceptics”. It would be good if Government could be seen to be deciding to support the front-line workers who form the spine of the economy. You will be aware that security guards and shop workers are among those who have been hit worst by the pandemic.


Please use your influence to make sure that these workers are prioritised with offers of Covid vaccination.


Thank you





OzTones said...

Thank you Richard. Forwarded to my MP Simon Hoare (Con., N Dorset)
Tony Troughton-Smith

DocRichard said...

Thanks for doing that Tony. I would be interested to see his response