Metropolitan Police Federation

Home Secretary grilled on LBC about officer vaccine priority

The Home Secretary has this morning received a grilling on why police officers are not being prioritised for the Covid vaccine.

Nick Ferrari quizzed Priti Patel at the end of a week which has seen police officers furiously react to the news that they will have to wait until after groups 1-9. The decision, made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, means they will have to wait for 32 million others to jabbed first.

Nick told the Home Secretary on LBC: “You’re talking and officers are dying. What are you going to do about it? You are the Home Secretary. Why don’t you tell the JCVI ‘I don’t want any more coppers dying’, Home Secretary?”

Ms Patel replied: “I’ve been quite clear about this and quite frankly I’ve asked police forces to put their plans in for receiving the vaccine because when we get the green light, forces are going to have to put the plans in place in terms of working in shifts and cohorts.”

She said it would be a “matter of time”, but when asked whether it would be this month, she deferred to the JCVI.

Nick asked: “Why do you allow yourself to be influenced by the JCVI? You’re the Home Secretary.”

She replied: “Politicians cannot dictate to the JCVI in terms of prioritisation….The JCVI are making the right decisions to reduce hospitalisations and deaths so they have prioritised the vaccine roll-out on that basis and alongside individuals, including those professions that are at high occupational risk – and you’ve heard me say this already, police officers are in that category.

“They are looking at how police officers and others who have high occupational risk will get the vaccine and that is alongside the fact… there are police forces that do have ways of delivering the vaccine alongside CCGs [Clinical Commissioning Groups] so police officers are getting vaccinated.  I absolutely want to see police officers across the country [being vaccinated] which is why I have asked 43 forces to get ready for vaccine rollout.”

To see the interview in full, go to: https://twitter.com/LBC/status/1360151074020052992?s=20