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Healthcare staff vaccination: lead by example and have the jab, say chief nurses

Nurses and colleagues have a duty to be immunised, urge health leaders in open letter
nurse prepares a vial of coronavirus vaccine as staff are urged to have the jab

Government wants all health and social care staff to have had their first coronavirus vaccine dose by mid-February

Nurses and other health and social care staff are being urged to lead by example and have the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are offered it.

An open letter to staff in England , signed by health leaders including chief nursing officer Ruth May and chief nurse for adult social care Deborah Sturdy , says staff have a collective duty to have the vaccination, to protect themselves and vulnerable patients.

Target for healthcare staff immunisation against coronavirus

The UK government has set a target of offering all front-line health and social care staff their first dose of

Government wants all health and social care staff to have had their first coronavirus vaccine dose by mid-February

nurse prepares a vial of coronavirus vaccine as staff are urged to have the jab
Picture: Getty

Nurses and other health and social care staff are being urged to ‘lead by example’ and have the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are offered it.

An open letter to staff in England, signed by health leaders including chief nursing officer Ruth May and chief nurse for adult social care Deborah Sturdy, says staff have a collective duty to have the vaccination, to protect themselves and vulnerable patients.

Target for healthcare staff immunisation against coronavirus

The UK government has set a target of offering all front-line health and social care staff their first dose of a vaccine by 15 February, along with people aged over 70 and those classed as extremely clinically vulnerable.

The letter highlights the heightened risk of exposure to COVID-19 among front-line staff, including students on clinical placement.


What the open letter about COVID-19 vaccine says

‘The NHS is working hard to offer vaccines to everyone in this group over the coming weeks and we strongly encourage you to take up this opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as you are offered it.

‘As people who work directly with some of those who are most vulnerable, we have a collective duty both to protect ourselves for their sake, and to lead by example.’


Mass vaccination programme for health and social care workforce

The UK staff COVID vaccination programme began on 4 January following the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

On 16 January, 5,000 health and social care staff received their jabs in a mass vaccination session dubbed ‘super Saturday’ at the NHS Louisa Jordan field hospital in Glasgow. Dedicated staff vaccination clinics have been set up at hospitals and other venues.

While the vaccine is not compulsory for healthcare professionals, the RCN ‘actively encourages’ all members to have a COVID-19 vaccine.

However, the college does not support mandatory staff vaccination.


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