Fact Service March 2021

Issue 9

Vaccine access made easier for health workers

Nurses’ union the RCN is claiming success after all frontline health and social care workers in England were enabled to book their Covid vaccine online. The move follows its warning that temporary and agency staff were missing out on their jabs (see Fact Service issue 6).

The online request system has been introduced to help reach those who haven’t yet had a first dose of the vaccine, and allows all eligible health and social care workers to self-refer for a jab, regardless of whether they work in the NHS or not.

According to the RCN, this new push from government comes after it raised concerns that key staff were slipping through the net of the vaccine programme. As previously reported, a survey it released in February showed that 70% of respondents who hadn’t had or been offered the vaccine worked in non-NHS settings. More than two in five agency nursing staff and one in four temporary staff had not received a dose.

RCN chief executive & general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “The government has acted upon our demands to intervene and put a system in place to ensure all nursing staff, irrespective of where they work, can easily access the vaccine."

Appointments can be booked via the NHS website or by phoning 119 free of charge, 7am to 11pm, 7-days a week.