Labour says key workers should be prioritised in the next phase of vaccination programme.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for teachers and school staff to be vaccinated during the February half term.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions today, Starmer said the government should prioritise critical workers in the next phase of the vaccination programme, including supermarket workers, transport workers, police, firefighters and prison staff.

Under current plans, the government aims to have vaccinated the most vulnerable people by mid-February.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is responsible for determining prioritisation for the Covid vaccine. The JCVI’s current vaccination phase targets the following:

  1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
  2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. all those 75 years of age and over
  4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. all those 65 years of age and over
  6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality
  7. all those 60 years of age and over
  8. all those 55 years of age and over
  9. all those 50 years of age and over

It is estimated that these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:

“The NHS rightly deserve congratulations for their impressive and speedy roll out of vaccinations. But now we need to go further and faster. Not only will vaccination acceleration save lives it will help us to carefully and responsibly reopen our economy and crucially ensure children are back in school as transmission reduces.”

“Ministers must bring forward plans to vaccinate key workers as soon as possible. Police officers, teachers, fire fighters and transport workers are just some of the key workers who have kept society functioning through this pandemic and are more exposed to the virus. We cannot afford to slow our vaccination efforts now.”