RCN position on vaccination

The RCN work closely with UK public health teams and NHS to support the UK vaccination programmes, maximising the uptake for safe and effective vaccines across the population and in supporting the nursing staff to manage and deliver vaccine programmes.

The RCN clinical resources on immunisation and travel health includes a range of information and resources to support this.

In the UK the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise the UK governments on vaccination policy. The committee are an independent body of experts who consider the vaccine safety, availability and efficacy alongside the ethical, programmatic, logistical and operational elements needed for any vaccine programme.

Delivery of vaccination in the UK is primarily a nursing role and the RCN’s overriding aims in relation to vaccination are to:

  • Support members to have up to date and evidenced information to protect those most vulnerable to the severe effects of infectious diseases where a safe and effective vaccine is available.
  • Support members to ensure vaccines are delivered safely and protect public trust and confidence in immunisation services.
  • Ensure the nursing voice is significant and integral to all planning. Nursing teams are fundamental to the safe and effective delivery of vaccines
  • Support guidance and recommendations for vaccination from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as an independent body of experts and help disseminate this to RCN members.

The vaccination response to the 19 pandemic in the UK include;

  • the roll out of vaccines against COVID-19 and safely and quickly as possible as far as vaccine supplies allow
  • expansion of the seasonal influenza vaccine programme to include a wider section of the population with the aim of minimising the impact of seasonal influenza and also reduce the likelihood of influenza co circulating withSARS-CoV2.

The primary aim of both these programmes is to reduce the incidence of serious illness and death in the most vulnerable groups and reduce the pressures on clinical services and hospital beds.

The COVID-19 vaccine roll out for the UK population commenced in December 2020.

Delivery of a novel vaccine at scale, requires- having the correct authority and trained workforce to be able to do this safely.

The RCN continue to work with UK governments, NHS and Public health agencies to support the process and develop various models for delivery as well as training packages.

The RCN have produced a series of resources to support members which are constantly updated: