News

COVID-19: no immunisation for NHS staff until vaccine proven safe and effective

Government will not proceed until trials are verified, despite reports of programme this year

Government will not proceed until trials are verified, despite reports of planned programme before the end of the year

Nurses and other healthcare staff will not be immunised against coronavirus until a vaccine is proven to be safe, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

It comes amid rising hopes that a vaccine will be approved before the end of the year, following a report in the Mail on Sunday that said the NHS is preparing to start immunising front-line staff within weeks.

Suggestions of vaccinations before the end of the year

The newspaper published a memo by Glen Burley, the chief executive of three NHS trusts in the Midlands, which said NHS care

Government will not proceed until trials are verified, despite reports of planned programme before the end of the year

Picture: iStock

Nurses and other healthcare staff will not be immunised against coronavirus until a vaccine is proven to be safe, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

It comes amid rising hopes that a vaccine will be approved before the end of the year, following a report in the Mail on Sunday that said the NHS is preparing to start immunising front-line staff within weeks.

Suggestions of vaccinations before the end of the year

The newspaper published a memo by Glen Burley, the chief executive of three NHS trusts in the Midlands, which said NHS care providers had been told to be prepared to start a COVID-19 staff vaccine programme before Christmas. It also said the vaccine was expected to be given in two doses, 28 days apart.

The national clinical director for Scotland, Jason Leitch, also told the BBC’s Drivetime with John Beattie radio programme that the Scottish government expects to have some doses of a vaccine before Christmas.

Speaking about who the government would inoculate first, he stressed officials would first have to make sure the vaccine was safe for the most vulnerable members of the community, and then vaccinate the most at-risk groups, adding ‘for example, healthcare workers’.

‘Track record of delivering vaccination programmes’

Sir Patrick Vallance
Picture: Wikipedia CC

But the DHSC has said a vaccine will only be made available when it has been proven to be safe and effective.

A spokesperson told Nursing Standard: ‘The NHS has a tried and tested track record for delivering vaccination programmes and will work with existing partners across the healthcare system to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine can be deployed safely and effectively.

‘A COVID-19 vaccine will only be deployed once it has been proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the independent regulator.’

Earlier this month Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy that a vaccine was unlikely to be rolled out for community use before spring 2021.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to primary healthcare.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs