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Roll out covid vaccinations to frontline staff ‘immediately’, says NHS England

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COVID-19 vaccinations should now be “immediately” rolled out to frontline staff, NHS England has told trust leaders.

New instructions from the national body follow the approval today of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which NHS England said will “substantially to accelerate vaccine delivery”. Until now, only limited quantities of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been available.

NHS staff are in the second priority category for covid vaccines, behind care home residents and alongside over 80s. But there have been complaints from clinicians around the country that they have been unable to get the jab, as well as uncertainty about how the vaccine deliveries should be divided between the priority groups.

A letter to local leaders from NHS England says that until now, healthcare workers who have been identified at highest risk of serious illness from covid-19 have been given the vaccine in unfilled appointment slots.

The letter, from chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and senior officials, now states: “Increased supply means that vaccination can also now immediately be expanded to frontline health and social care workers.”

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Source: HSJ, 31 December 2020

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