Watford Liberal Democrats are calling for teachers, police and frontline key workers to be vaccinated once older residents, NHS and social care staff and people with health conditions have received a vaccination.
Peter Taylor, Elected Mayor of Watford, said “Frontline workers have done so much for all of us over the last year. Because their jobs mean that they meet people face-to-face they are understandably asking when they will be vaccinated.
“I have spoken to lots of residents who work in these professions who are really worried about Covid-19. Their jobs put them at a greater risk of catching Covid-19 and passing it to others as they work in close proximity to students, members of the public and other colleagues. If we ensure that these people are moved up the priority list for vaccinations it will be beneficial to everyone as essential services are able to stay open and the virus will spread less.
“I am so grateful for the dedication of key frontline workers throughout the pandemic and it is time the government acknowledged their hard work by placing them higher on the vaccine priority list.”
Mark Watkin, Opposition Spokesperson for Education at Hertfordshire County Council, said “In spite of the Government correctly focusing on the need for our children and young people to be in education, the fact is that too many schools have been forced to either close completely or send whole year groups home because a member of staff has either contracted Covid-19 or been exposed to someone with it. The damage this has caused and will continue to cause to our children’s education, if nothing changes, is incalculable and potentially life changing.
“Teachers and early years’ practitioners, by the nature of their work, are far more likely to contract Covid-19. Identifying them as a priority group for vaccination, will ensure that they are properly protected and will make a massive difference to the ability for schools, pre-schools and nurseries to stay open. They will then be able to deliver a full curriculum, and address the damage being done to our children’s education in these challenging times.”
Chloe O’Keeffe, Nursery Manager in Watford, said “I feel all front line workers should be able to get the vaccine to feel safe when they go to work. It shouldn’t be “postcode lottery” as I have seen in some areas people have been able to get the vaccine and in others this is not the case. All frontline workers deserve to be priority as they are expected to work, especially nurseries who are expected to stay open despite cases doubling week on week and have close contact with children who are unable to social distance. Children may not be high risk but the staff who work with them are at risk and because they love what they do they will continue to work and care for the children knowing that any day they could catch this deadly virus that has shut the whole country down. Front line workers deserve to be safe and have peace of mind when they carry out their vital role in the community.”
Full petition text here: https://www.watfordlibdems.org/make_frontline_staff_priority_for_vaccinations