At the end of last month, the government announced that phase 2 of the vaccinations rollout will continue by age as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Public Health England (PHE).
Following the first priority groups, the vaccination will be offered to adults in the following order:
- Adults aged between 40 and 49
- Adults aged between 30 and 39
- Adults aged between 18 and 29
The government added that they predict all adults will receive their first vaccination by the end of July.
COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, Professor Wei Shen Lim, said: “the risk of hospitalisation and death increases with age. The vaccination programme is a huge success and continuing the age-based rollout will provide the greatest benefit in the shortest time, including to those in occupations at a higher risk of exposure.”
The Early Years Alliance has had meetings with the government in which their raise their concerns with regards to frontline early years workers still being high risk.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance said: “It is incomprehensible that yet again, early years workers have been overlooked by the government and told to wait for the vaccine. This is in spite of a spike in Covid case reports within the sector and the fact that early years providers have been open to all children throughout this latest lockdown.
“Nursery and pre-school workers cannot choose to work from home, while childminders welcome children from multiple families into their own homes. The children in their care need cuddles, help with mealtimes, nappy changes and so much more that cannot be offered from a distance. That means they risk their own and their families’ health on a daily basis, to ensure parents have access to childcare and that every child gets the best possible early education.
“When the vaccine rollout was first announced, early years providers, along with other educators, were asked to wait patiently for Phase 2, when frontline workers, with no option to stay at home, would be offered this vital protection.
“These hopes have been sadly crushed by what feels a lazy move on the part of government. It shows rhetoric about essential workers, is just that, rhetoric. If there was a genuine will to protect our educators, rather than just chasing top-line vaccine figures, I have no doubt it could be done just as quickly and efficiently as every other phase of the rollout to date.”