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Angry police accuse government of betrayal over vaccine roll out snub

Police leaders have accused the government of “a deep and damaging betrayal” after it was introduced frontline officers wouldn’t be given precedence within the subsequent part of the coronavirus vaccine programme.

Announcing plans for Phase 2 of the roll out, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) mentioned it will be concentrating on age quite than occupation as a way to keep away from slowing down the system.

The resolution means folks aged 40-49 would be the subsequent in line to get a vaccine quite than folks in sure susceptible occupations equivalent to police officers and lecturers.

The JCVI mentioned prioritising folks by occupation may make issues extra complicated and subsequently decelerate the general vaccine rollout.

But the announcement was greeted with anger among the many policing fraternity with representatives warning ministers that it was a betrayal that may not be forgotten.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation mentioned: “This announcement reveals an entire lack of understanding about policing this pandemic and is an utter betrayal of police officers. 

“My colleagues have been on the frontline for the reason that first nationwide lockdown final March, risking an infection and even demise to maintain the general public protected.

“Together with others throughout policing, we’ve by no means mentioned police officers ought to leap the queue however must be prioritised. 

“It’s right that the most vulnerable and health and care workers were vaccinated; but what about police officers who cannot mitigate against the risks of contracting and spreading this deadly virus? Yet the calls to prioritise policing have been ignored.”

A complete of 29 police officers throughout the nation have died after contracting coronavirus, together with seven within the Metropolitan Police.

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, described the choice as “shocking” and “absurd”.

Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has supported requires frontline officers to be prioritised for vaccination including that the police “cannot fight crime or protect the vulnerable by working at home”.

Mr Apter mentioned an rising quantity of officers have been calling in sick or having to self isolate.

He went on: “Giving police officers the vaccine wouldn’t solely shield them and their households but additionally assist stop the unfold of this virus.

“We are sick of warm words and no action by our political leaders who have demanded so much from policing during this pandemic. We will now explore every possible avenue open to us to protect our members from this deadly virus and this complacent government.”

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