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RCN position on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine

Published: 19 February 2021
Last updated: 19 February 2021
Abstract: RCN position on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine
The RCN support the principles of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decision making for vaccine prioritisation for those at greatest risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection. We welcome that health and social care staff are indicated in the first priority groups. Health and care staff have been significantly affected by COVID-19 disease as a result of exposure, vaccination will help protect them and their families.

The JCVI have issued guidance on priority groups. The vaccines in development are primarily tested for efficacy in minimising the impact of COVID-19. The impact of the vaccine on the transmission of the virus will take longer to establish. As the deployment of the vaccine programme progresses it is likely that further detail will be added for vaccination across the whole population.

The RCN welcomes the overall aim of the programme in protecting those at most risk of severe disease first. It is essential that access to the vaccine for marginalised groups within these priority areas is considered within local planning and delivery. Individuals eligible for vaccination need to have easy access to the vaccines. The delivery models need to ensure there are reminders for those invited for vaccination and opportunities to call people who haven’t responded to appointment invitations so they are given every opportunity to receive the vaccines they need.