18 February 2021 by Joshua Doherty

‘No vaccine priority’ for waste sector

The Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zawahi, has said phase two of the vaccine rollout programme could see those “those delivering key public services” prioritised for vaccination.

Mr Zawahi made the comments in a letter in response to the Environmental Services Association (ESA).

Nadhim Zawahi is the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment

The ESA has welcomed the fact that that the minister suggested “those delivering key public services” would be considered in the next phase of vaccination and is seen as accepting the current government prioritisation plan the national vaccination roll-out.

The Association had written to the cabinet office minister Michael Gove in early December, before the vaccine plan was unveiled, to ensure waste workers are given priority for vaccination. The sector last year welcomed ‘key worker’ status for the sector.

The ESA had called for waste workers to be given priority “after the elderly, the vulnerable, and the health workers upon whom we also all rely”.

The call was followed by the Textiles Recycling Association which also wanted the sector be prioritised.

Advice

Mr Zawahi’s letter, dated 17 February, said the government has been following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Under phase one of the programme, the government is vaccinating care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and health and social care workers, then other people in order of age and risk.

So far, more than 15 million people have been vaccinated under this phase.

“We will continue to follow the JCVI advice and vaccinate those most at risk first, and those who work closest with them – care home residents and staff, followed by people over 80 and health and social care workers, then other people in order of age and risk,” the minister said.

” Phase two will focus on further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services”

Nadhim Sawahi, Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment

Phase two

Mr Zawahi added that phase two “will focus on further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services”.

He added that prioritisation decisions for the next phase of delivery are subject to the surveillance and monitoring of data and information from phase one, as well as further input from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI.

 

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