According to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, the government is looking at prioritizing police, teachers and others who are grouped as persons with high “occupational risk of coming in contact with the virus”.
Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) for the UK has announced a meeting tomorrow to discuss which groups should be next in line after the 13 million people in Phase 1 have been inoculated.
Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout is scheduled to start after February 15 when all senior citizens and health staff have received the vaccine, but frontline workers such as police and teachers may have to wait until all over-50s have been vaccinated in the year.
Public Health Minister Steve Brine, also added that vaccinating MPs in phase two of the rollout would help “get our democracy back, adding: “Parliament’s a shadow, at best, of itself.”
National Police Chiefs’ Council’s boss Martin Hewitt, last night called for police officers to be considered for the vaccine “as soon as that first phase of the vaccine has been completed”.
“You can’t police at two metres distance, we have to do the job to protect people to deal with the crime that we’d be dealing with.” he was quoted saying.
In addition, Policing Minister Kit Malthouse backed the calls, saying police have “a strong case” for access to the vaccine before they are opened up to the general population.
Asked whether police officers should be added to the country’s priority list, Ms Patel told the press conference: “We are looking at those who are on the front line such as police officers, teachers and others who are naturally at occupational risk of coming in contact with the virus.”
“We are absolutely working to make sure that we can get the vaccine to them but that means working with the JCVI.”