THE start of vaccinations for front line health workers has been welcomed by Ludlow MP and former health minister Philip Dunne.

New guidance from NHS England says that by mid-January, all NHS Trusts will establish ‘hospital hubs’ with responsibility for COVID19 vaccine delivery, with priority given to 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 people or other staff working in healthcare.

This follows the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and will include: staff on the vaccination programme; those who have frequent face-to-face contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care, mental health, urgent and emergency care and community settings; those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services; laboratory, pathology and mortuary staff; those working for a sub-contracted provider of facilities services such as portering or cleaning; temporary, bank or locum staff working with patients; and frontline social care workers directly working with vulnerable people.

It is expected that Trusts will complete COVID-19 vaccination of all frontline health and social care workers as quickly as possible, providing vaccines seven days a week.

“Our frontline NHS and care staff have been at the forefront of tackling this disease for the past year, for which we all owe our profound thanks.

“I have spoken to NHS leaders in Shropshire who confirmed they will be looking to vaccinate frontline staff as quickly as possible.

“This is a priority part of the massive logistical task, six times the annual flu jab in scale, with 325,000 people in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin in the first wave of priority groups, who will need to be inoculated twice with the vaccine over 12 weeks.

“At the rate of some 325 per day for the Pfizer vaccine per vaccination pod, this gives some idea of the challenge ahead. There is enormous willingness to achieve this amongst those being trained to vaccinate and overwhelming public support for all those involved.”