Thousands of student nurses and bank workers have been on the frontline since March.
A letter sent to all NHS Chief Executives and GP Practices yesterday sets out how trusts should prioritise vaccinating workers.
The letter emphasises the importance of “immediate” vaccinations for frontline health and social care workers.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that frontline staff “at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment” should be prioritised.
According to the NHS England document, this includes; staff, temporary or ‘bank’ staff, and students, trainees and volunteers who have frequent face-to-face contact across primary and secondary care, mental health, urgent and emergency care and community settings.
Sub-contracted providers, such as those providing estates and facilities services, should also be offered the vaccination.
By mid-January, NHS England has instructed “hospital hubs” to be the default provider for vaccinating health and social care workers – freeing up primary care services to prioritise patients in the community.
The letter continues; “Hospital hubs will need to liaise with partner organisations in order to provide optimal coverage and by organising clinics at times which are accessible to all health and social care workers.”
“It is expected that Trusts will complete COVID-19 vaccination of all frontline health and social care workers as quickly as possible.
“Trusts will need to focus on achieving maximum uptake of the vaccine; with the expectation to have made significant progress by the first week of February, and to provide vaccinations 7 days a week.”