Imran Hussain MP has today urged the Government to include frontline voluntary and third sector workers in the high-priority groups set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect these key workers and those they support.
Whilst NHS and other healthcare workers are listed as high-priority groups for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, those working in the voluntary and third sector such as in foodbanks, advice centres, and domestic violence refuges and centres are not included as a high-priority group, despite the essential work that they carry out and the fact that they frequently come into contact with vulnerable members of the public.
Imran has stated that this is putting these voluntary and third sector workers, as well as those who use and depend upon the services that they provide at risk, and he has therefore urged the Minister for Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi MP to include these key frontline workers in the high-priority groups to protect workers and service users.
Speaking on his call for voluntary and third sector workers to be included amongst high-priority groups for the Coronavirus vaccine, Imran said:
“Voluntary and third sector workers have proven what heroes they are by keeping food banks running, continuing to protect those who’ve fled domestic violence and maintaining essential services, and we must ensure that the vital role that they play in supporting those who are in need does not break down.
“However, a significant challenge to this is the fact that frontline voluntary and third sector workers are still having to interact with the public on a daily basis in order to provide this support, which is putting both workers and those that they are supporting, many of whom are already vulnerable, at risk from COVID-19.
“The Government, therefore, needs to not only ensure that the voluntary and third sector have all the PPE necessary to reduce the risk of infection, but must include these often-forgotten frontline workers in the high-priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine as it is rolled out across the country to give them lasting protection.”