Covid vaccine free-for-all as rogue councils offer jab to staff before over-70sJanuary 20, 2021
ROGUE councils have offered jabs to staff before vulnerable over-70s – sparking fears of a vaccine free-for-all.
Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council secured vaccinations for their staff this week, the Telegraph reported.
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The move goes against the Government's list of who gets the vaccine first, with the most vulnerable given top priority.
The two councils reportedly secured jabs for children's services staff, many of whom are working from home.
They also told about 28,000 nursery workers that the councils had reached an agreement for vaccines with the local NHS, in a letter reportedly seen by the Telegraph.
The letter read: "We submitted estimated staff numbers last week and I have just received confirmation that there is capacity beginning this week to support beginning those vaccinations."
It added that there was "a significant amount of vaccine" to be shared.
Some nursery workers have reportedly been vaccinated already in Cambridgeshire, however the council reversed its plan on Tuesday after the Government and NHS intervened.
Peterborough City Council leader John Holdich said: "You've got to look at locally what your problems are.
"Obviously, we are quite densely populated. Whether it is a school, or whether it's the people that are serving it, that's where we're looking."
A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said officials have now "clarified" to nurseries and schools "at this stage, the eligibility for the vaccine will only include staff who provide personal care and support".
Some over-70s could get their Covid vaccine before those over 80 in a "postcode lottery", the UK's Vaccines Minister suggested.
Nadhim Zahawi said that in areas where "the majority" of over-80s have had their first shot, the over-70s group will be invited for their jab.
But with some areas rolling out vaccines at a faster pace, it could result in older and more vulnerable Brits delayed in their first dose.
One Tory MP told Politico that areas such as the North East are supposedly administering vaccines quicker than places such as London and Kent.
In the capital, vaccine numbers are lagging behind the rest of the country, with MPs fearful supplies are being based on the low flu vaccine take-up from last winter.
But Downing Street has insisted the vaccine supplies are being "distributed equally".
Meanwhile, Met chief Cressida Dick has called on police officers to be fast-tracked to get the vaccine.
She said: “In many other countries police officers and law-enforcement colleagues are being prioritised and I want my officers to get the vaccine.”
The number of daily vaccines being carried out has slumped by nearly half in the past four days, alarming figures reveal.
Medics in England carried out 170,900 jabs on Monday – well below the daily record of 324,711 vaccinations dished out last Friday.
And it is significantly lower than the number of jabs carried out last Wednesday and Thursday, which were around 250,000 and 275,000 respectively.
Worrying data shows the number of Brits getting vaccinated against coronavirus has fallen for the third day in a row.
SHOT IN THE ARM
Dr Duncan Robertson, an analyst at Loughborough University, said: "The number vaccinated has fallen for three successive days.
"It would be useful to know what the vaccine supply schedule is over the next weeks and months, and the reason for this decrease."
It is unclear what is causing the numbers to fall – it could be a bottleneck in supply or the result of the Government focusing on slow rollout areas to reach everyone aged over 80.
Boris Johnson has vowed to continue to ramp up the vaccination programme to hit his target of jabbing 13.5m Brits by mid February.
Boris Johnson has begun top secret planning for millions to meet loved ones this Easter – but cracked the whip amid lagging vaccine numbers.
The Sun has learnt Cabinet Office civil servants have begun building a detailed “unlocking framework” to gradually ease Covid restrictions area by area.
Although publicly Ministers say it's too soon to say when freedoms can be restored, the PM has tasked No10 officials with building the plans with his eye on early April mingling joy for millions – even if for many its only outside.
Amid mounting backbench pressure to set out a route out of lockdown, a senior Government source told The Sun: “It’s way too soon to start talking about when, but the work is being done quietly on the how.”
But those freedoms are dependent on the vaccine rollout working and declining hospitalisation numbers.
Ministers believe the peak of the second wave has now passed, but a two week lag on people needing treatment means the NHS is still under immense stress.
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