The vaccine will be critical in keeping both staff and patients safe.
From the middle of January, NHS Trusts have been told to roll out staff vaccinations programmes for all healthcare and social care workers, which, NHS England say, will be critical in keeping both them and patients safe.
The vaccine will be offered to everyone working across NHS services, including bank or temporary workers, students and those delivering subcontracted services.
Priority will be based on local risk assessments, which will consider factors such as face-to-face contact time, underlying health conditions and whether people are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, all of which are proven risk factors.
NHS England aims to have made significant progress on immunising all frontline staff by the first week of February in a similar rollout as the seasonal flu vaccinations.
It is estimated that around 75,000 out of a potential 1.6 million NHS workers have already received the vaccine in England.
Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England, Ruth May, said: “This is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history and as we move to the next phase of the rollout, it is only right that we prioritise the NHS staff who have been on the frontline of this global pandemic.
“We will be prioritising the nurses, doctors and other frontline staff who continue to work tirelessly, before administering the vaccine to almost all health and social care staff by mid-February.”
UNISON’s head of health Sara Gorton added: “Ensuring a safe, quick and efficient rollout of the vaccine is crucial. Everyone working in the NHS – including staff employed by private contractors or on temporary contracts – must be included in the plans.
”Providing clear, easy-to-understand information about the vaccines will encourage the widest possible take-up across the entire workforce.”