Less than half of agency nurses have received the first dose of the vaccine.
From today frontline health and social care workers who are yet to recieve their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be able to book using the NHS’s online booking system.
According to the site, priority is now being given to those aged over 70, those who are extremely clinically vulnerable, people who live or work in care homes, and frontline health and social care workers.
Student nurses and allied healthcare professionals who are currently patient-facing are also able to use the service.
A recent survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reveals that agency and bank workers are being “left behind” in the vaccine rollout.
Just two in five agency nursing staff and one in four temporary staff having not even received a single dose of the vaccine. In stark contrast, just one in eight hospital workers are still yet to receive their first dose.
Of those that hadn’t had the vaccine, 55% had not even been offered it. This is despite health and social care workers having face-to-face contact with potential carriers of the virus on a daily basis.
Only around 1% of respondents said they did not want the COVID-19 vaccine.
Anthony Johnson, Lead Organisor for the grassroots campaigning group Nurses United UK said that the system is long overdue and has encouraged staff to get vaccinated.
He said; “As NHS workers we’ve all been anxious at the behaviour of this Government. It shouldn’t have to take us until mid-February for us to be able to get access to a vaccine when we’re literally dying to be able to defeat this pandemic.
“I hope as many of my colleagues as possible will get the protection that they deserve but it is incredibly frustrating to see how little care is given to us by this Government and they should have to answer for it now and in the ballot box.”
You can book online via the NHS.uk website or by calling 119 free of charge, 7am to 11pm, 7 days a week.