DAUK in The Guardian: Give NHS staff Covid vaccine now or face growing winter crisis, say hospital bosses

Hospital bosses in England want NHS staff to start getting the Covid vaccine urgently because soaring rates of sickness among frontline personnel are threatening to intensify the service’s growing winter crisis.

Doctors and nurses are asking their hospitals to vaccinate them, but are being told they will have to wait until early 2021 because the over-80s and care home staff are the top priority.

The small number of NHS staff who have had the vaccine so far got it either because of their poor underlying health or because they were offered it as part of efforts by hospitals not to waste any of the 975-dose batches, which have to be used within three and a half days. Bosses are also worried that staff generally will not get it until some time in 2021.

The Doctors Association UK, a network of NHS grassroots medics, backed the call for frontline staff to get jabs urgently. Dr Katie Sanderson, a DAUK spokesperson, said: “Logic dictates we vaccinate the vaccinators and healthcare workers as soon as possible, remembering the old adage: ‘first, do no harm’.”