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NHS staff NOT first in the queue for vaccine

(199 Posts)
GagaJo Thu 03-Dec-20 20:32:42

NHS staff will no longer be among the first people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 after a rethink about who should be given priority.

Hospitals will instead begin by immunising care home staff, and inpatients and outpatients aged over 80. The change is likely to disappoint and worry health service staff, some of whom had already booked appointments to get immunised.

Frontline personnel were due to have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when the NHS starts rolling it out, probably next Tuesday, after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved it on Wednesday.

welbeck Thu 03-Dec-20 20:49:24

i've made this point on another thread re the vaccine.
actually, when you read the article it seems unlikely that care home staff or residents will be in the first group.

Ellianne Thu 03-Dec-20 20:51:00

If that is true, then I think it is extremely disappointing news.
Surely if we don't allow healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists etc to be among the first to be vaccinated there will be no one left to look after the sick, be they 80, 60, 40 or younger.

MissAdventure Thu 03-Dec-20 20:56:43

It would be nice if they could actually decide, considering it's so close to happening.

SueDonim Thu 03-Dec-20 20:59:45

That’s contrary to what my medic daughter has been told today. She’s in line to receive the jab next week.

GagaJo Thu 03-Dec-20 21:00:12

Healthcare workers should be first. They are our first line of defense against covid. I think it is shocking. I have no vested interest. I am not an NHS worker or a carer and neither is anyone in my family.

MissAdventure Thu 03-Dec-20 21:03:33

Oh well, the same article says that after the first batch, "It may be some time" before the next vaccines are available.

Ilovecheese Thu 03-Dec-20 21:04:06

Surely this doesn't mean that the Government had not quite thought this through before making an announcement?!

Ellianne Thu 03-Dec-20 21:04:22

I agree GagaJo, and I believe they will be pretty much first on the list in other European countries?

SueDonim Thu 03-Dec-20 21:39:58

My dd started a new job this week in Old Age medicine. I’d have thought she needs to be vaccinated to keep her patients safe. It’s astonishing that she’s been working on the front line since April yet hasn’t caught it. confused

Casdon Thu 03-Dec-20 21:48:44

It’s about relative risk though, isn’t it? Vaccinating inpatients over 80 first is a good way of protecting them as early as possible from the virus, as they are most likely to die if they pick it up.
400,000 vaccines won’t cover everybody who is top priority, whichever way you cut it - but staff will be first in line for the next consignment, and I know those on the front line will say vaccinate the patients first if that will save more lives.

Ellianne Thu 03-Dec-20 21:56:59

Health professionals are nearly on their knees, exhausted, stressed out, run down, mentally shattered. More and more of them are going sick and the longer we leave them without a vaccine the longer other treatments and operations are going to have to wait because there won't be enough staff.

GagaJo Thu 03-Dec-20 21:58:52

Very good point Ellianne.

Casdon Thu 03-Dec-20 22:05:31

I know that better than most Ellianne having been one myself until very recently. They are only talking about a very short delay though, for all we know the next consignment will be arriving next week?

Nonetheless I can understand the rationale for prioritising those most likely to die, which will have been made by the scientists and health professionals themselves.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 03-Dec-20 22:17:38

If the most vulnerable are vaccinated hopefully they will not need hospitalisation which in turn will alleviate the pressure on the respiratory care wards.

Ellianne Thu 03-Dec-20 22:17:42

for all we know the next consignment will be arriving next week?
On the late news it just said maybe early in the New Year for NHS.
And then what about giving the first lot a second vaccine?

Casdon Thu 03-Dec-20 22:41:11

I know that the first consignment is for both doses for those who receive it, but if as you say the next consignment of the Pfizer dose isn’t until the new year the second lot of recipients will be about 4 weeks behind the first. Unless of course the Oxford vaccination is approved in the meantime and available before that.
Hopefully the effect of the lockdowns will have a good effect on the NHS in the meantime.

biba70 Thu 03-Dec-20 22:47:51

Totally agree Gagajo- they shoud be first, and care staff, then teachers.

GagaJo Thu 03-Dec-20 22:54:32

Some areas are reporting levels of NHS staff absence (sickness & isolating) of 40%. With medics getting the vaccine, it could cut that figure to normal levels within month, opening non-covid NHS services back up.

growstuff Fri 04-Dec-20 02:31:13


If the most vulnerable are vaccinated hopefully they will not need hospitalisation which in turn will alleviate the pressure on the respiratory care wards.

I agree.

In any case, NHS England and the government should stick to its original promise. They've known about the logistics problems for weeks.

growstuff Fri 04-Dec-20 02:33:47


Totally agree Gagajo- they shoud be first, and care staff, then teachers.

I disagree.

It was decided weeks ago that it was about saving lives. The way to do that is to vaccinate the most vulnerable.

It's not good enough to leave the squabbling and lobbying until the last minute.

There was a plan and NHS England and the government must stick to it.

growstuff Fri 04-Dec-20 02:35:26


My dd started a new job this week in Old Age medicine. I’d have thought she needs to be vaccinated to keep her patients safe. It’s astonishing that she’s been working on the front line since April yet hasn’t caught it. confused

Vaccination wouldn't keep her patients safe. She still needs to use full PPE and take all other precautions.

Dorsetcupcake61 Fri 04-Dec-20 05:56:20

I must admit I feel saddened and quite angered by this news. I read it last night and from what I understand health and care workers were all set to go ,appointments made etc. Care homes were promised to be first in the queue but apparently the vaccine comes in bunches of 900 which cant be separated and have to be used in 6 hours. So not practical for care homes.
Apparently the rapid tests for care homes which gave so much hope for residents and visitors are also to be stopped as unreliable.
When the vaccination was announced I was pleased and hopeful,but I wasnt jumping up and down with excitement expecting it any time soon.
Apparently Scotland are giving it out to care homes.
Initially I could see the reasoning behind the decision not to in UK. Now I wonder.
I think what incites me are the images on the news of residents in care homes being told they would soon be vaccinated and how their was hope.
Now I cant help but wonder if any of what the government promised was ever possible at all. Was it just another one of Johnsons look at me I'm wonderful attempts to be popular?
Their track record isnt brilliant is it?
Who knows the reality of the situation. Maybe they can only get hold of a relatively small amount of the vaccine.
Maybe there will be issues importing it due to Brexit,although I would hope not as i would have thought the need globally would be above such issues.
I think my initial response was tempered by a nagging thought of i wonder how they will mess it up! Nothing would surprise me and that saddens me.
Above all else whether it's due to incompetence or self promotion i think the giving of hope and snatching it away is unforgivable and cruel.

growstuff Fri 04-Dec-20 06:24:19

Dorsetcupcake. I share your sadness and anger, although apparently I'm not allowed to comment on what's going on because I don't have a PhD in science and I'm not being "positive".

The JCVI has had the same policy since the beginning of September. The list of priorities was based on the number of lives which could be saved - nothing else. It explicitly said it didn't want to get into arguments about whose job is most important, etc. The government has known for some time about the problems with transport and storage of the Pfizer vaccine. Yet it allowed people to hope and to have unrealistic expectations.

It is a lie that Brexit made it any easier for the UK to take delivery of vaccines. The country is still using EU legislation until 31 December. The government was trying to take a leaf out of Trump's rule book and claim to be the first.

Gavin Williamson's statement has made the UK a laughing stock (at a time when our international reputation is already very fragile and we're supposed the be "selling ourselves" to the world as an individual country).

"Williamson said he was not surprised the UK was the first to roll out the immunisation because “we’re a much better country than every single one of them.

Much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have. That doesn’t surprise me at all because we’re a much better country than every single one of them, aren’t we.”

Asked whether Brexit was to credit for the world-first, Williamson told LBC radio station on Thursday: “Well I just reckon we’ve got the very best people in this country and we’ve obviously got the best medical regulators."

He's offended so many people about something which isn't even true.

Other countries are hanging back a few days because they want to sort out the logistics problems of storage and distribution - not because they have worse regulators. They want to ensure that the public is confident about having the vaccine. Sensible stuff!

It now appears that Pfizer was allowed to deliver a maximum of 800,000 doses to the UK under EU law, but there won't be any more until the vaccine receives EMA approval. Meanwhile, people in care homes would have been at greater risk, if they had been taken off the top spot in the priority list. People are being encouraged to visit them over Christmas.

This is from the government website:

"Care home residents in all tiers will be able to see their families again this Christmas period as over a million tests are to be sent out providers over the next month, with visits to begin in the first homes tomorrow (Wednesday 2 December)."

Unfortunately, the lateral flow tests issued to care homes have been deemed unreliable.

People in care homes really might not be around next Christmas. They've been denied visits for months. Yet they were allowed to have hope, only to have it dashed. That's cruel.

Meanwhile, Pfizer has now announced that it can only deliver on half its original promise for the time being.

Mamie Fri 04-Dec-20 07:15:49

Just for interest, this is the French roll-out announced by the Prime Minister.
"We will not be able to vaccinate everyone at the same time. The logic will be simple, the most vulnerable people will be vaccinated first, followed by several phases depending on the people concerned. A first phase from January to February will concern 1 million people: residents and caregivers in Ehpad. Then February -March, vaccination will be extended to the over 75s, then from 65 to 74 years of age, then to health and medico-social professionals aged at least 50 or with co-morbidities, this will concern 14 million people considered to be at risk. Then, starting "at the beginning of spring", the rest of the population could be vaccinated, with priority being given to people aged between 50 and 64, security and education personnel, and vulnerable and fragile people."

I find the UK "ner ner ner we are getting it before you" stuff shocking. Are these people ten years old? (Probably an insult to ten year olds).