'Vaccinate front-line police early' says commissioner
- Credit: Gene Genie Photography
Police officers should be given some priority in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the county's police and crime commissioner.
David Lloyd also revealed that excess doses of the vaccine have already been given to more than 100 police officers in Herts.
Mr Lloyd made the remarks at a meeting of the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Panel in response to a question from the public.
He told members of the panel that he agreed front-line officers should be ‘early’ in being vaccinated.
And he revealed that he had personally lobbied Policing Minister Kit Malthouse on the issue.
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“I agree with the implication that front-line officers should be early in being able to be vaccinated... The decision of course is a government decision."
Mr Lloyd reported that the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners had also lobbied on the issue.
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And he outlined the steps being taken in Hertfordshire that had meant more than 100 police officers had already received the vaccine.
“Clearly government priority at the moment is on avoiding death, rather than transmission – and therefore it is quite right that the most vulnerable have been the first to be vaccinated,” he said.
“But in the meantime locally we have had a voluntary programme – and this is not unique to Hertfordshire – where there are excess vaccines at the end of each day police officers are amongst the people who are prioritised and there is a phone call made and they will turn up.
“So far my understanding... is that there are 169 police officers and staff who have been vaccinated, which is 100 in the last week – so that programme is working.
“But I think it is important that they are early an roll-out – for no other reason than they are very vulnerable in what they do and it shows how, as a nation, we support our front-line officers.”
Mr Lloyd made the remarks in response to a question from Cllr John Hale, who was attending the meeting of the police and crime panel as a member of the public.
In asking the question, Cllr Hale – who is a member of Herts county council – suggested that providing the vaccine to police and other front line emergency workers would help to protect those that provide vital services to the community and to reduce the risk of service disruption.
And he had also asked whether the PCC agreed that police officers should be considered for the next round of Covid-19 vaccinations.