This morning the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set out its interim statement for phase two of the Covid-19 vaccine deployment in the UK. In this they have ruled out prioritising people by occupation and will instead use an age-based delivery approach. Phase two will start with vaccination of adults aged 40-49, followed by 30-39 and finally 18-29.
A DHSC and JCVI press release issued today states that “The UK government remains on course to meet its target to offer a vaccine to all those in the phase 1 priority groups by mid-April, and all adults by the end of July.”
PACEY has been campaigning for early years and childcare practitioners to be prioritised as an occupational group to receive the vaccine once the most vulnerable are protected, due to the close contact that practitioners have with children, and the lack of regular home testing available to childminders and nannies.
Liz Bayram, Chief Executive at PACEY comments:
“Today’s announcement from the JCVI will heap further worry and fear on to all early years and childcare practitioners. Like other social care workers, the work they do means they simply cannot socially distance from the young children in their care. We need government to recognise this and give them the protection they deserve.
“Registered early years and childcare practitioners, particularly childminders and nannies, have been consistently let down by the lack of protection offered to them throughout the pandemic whilst they have been expected to remain fully open during lockdown to support children and families. Most recently, there have been ongoing delays to how they can access home testing like their counterparts in schools. As of today childminders and nannies in England still don’t know when home testing will be available to them.
“PACEY will continue to call on the JCVI to recognise that practitioners –like social care workers – need to receive their vaccine as a priority. Expecting many to wait until the summer is simply not good enough.”