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NEWS: Early years and childcare vaccine confusion - update

PACEY has now received the following information from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) and the NHS. They have confirmed that the vaccine appointment booking system has now been amended to reflect the fact that childcare and early years practitioners are not eligible for vaccination as part of the social care workforce unless they are caring for clinically extremely vulnerable children.

DHSC has confirmed that childcare or early years practitioners who have received their vaccine will not be fined. However if you have made an appointment and are not eligible, DHSC has confirmed you must cancel the appointment.

PACEY has asked DHSC to clarify what happens to individuals who have received their first vaccination and will be due a second within 12 weeks. As soon as we have clarity, we will update our FAQs.

We continue to lobby for all childcare and early years practitioners, including childminders and nannies, to be prioritised for vaccination once the most vulnerable are protected.

The NHS has issued the following to help:

Q: I work in a school/early years setting – am I eligible as a social care worker?

A: The vast majority of people working in school and early years settings are not classed as a frontline health or social care worker. To qualify under this criteria you need to be providing face to face care or support to children or adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19. In most cases people who are eligible, those who provide face to face care or support children or adults who are extremely vulnerable, should be contacted directly by their employer and been given a letter to say they are eligible.

If you wrongly booked an appointment as you don’t fit the above criteria you will be turned away at the vaccination service, so please cancel your booking so that someone in the eligible cohort doesn’t miss out on an appointment.