Nurseries have remained open over lockdown (Picture: Getty)
As the UK’s mass Covid-19 vaccination rollout continues, those working in nurseries have been left confused by whether they can receive their jab.
At the start of the third lockdown, the government decided to close both primary and secondary schools, but nurseries have remained open.
While the government continues to work through its priority list of vaccinating the most vulnerable, there has been confusion over who will get vaccinated next.
Here’s all you need to know.
Can nursery workers get the covid vaccine?
The confusion is whether nursey workers fall under the ‘social care workers’ category.
The National Careers Service have suggested, in some cases, childminders and nursery workers could be classed as ‘social care’ staff who are currently eligible for jabs.
There has been plenty of confusion over nursery workers getting vaccinated (Picture: Getty)
This prompted nursery staff up and down the country to ponder whether they too could book a vaccine appointment.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS and DfE have all now confirmed that early years workers are not considered social care workers for the purpose of vaccine priority.
However, the government has also added that ‘in most cases people who are eligible, those who provide face to face care or support children or adults who are extremely vulnerable, should be contacted directly by their employer and be given a letter to say they are eligible.’
The Department for Education advised: ‘If you wrongly booked an appointment as you don’t fit the above criteria, you will be turned away at the vaccination service, so please cancel your booking so that someone in the eligible cohort doesn’t miss out on an appointment.’
There have been calls for nursery workers to be moved up the priority vaccine list (Picture: Getty)
The DHSC has said that any early years workers who have had a vaccine that shouldn’t have will not be fined.
According to Childcare.co.uk, clarification is still needed on what early years workers should do if they have already managed to receive their first vaccine and whether or not they will receive their second vaccine under the normal 12-week time scale.
Richard Conway, CEO & Founder of Childcare.co.uk, said: ‘Once again the circus over early years vaccines continues.
‘We now understand that several thousands of early years workers were able to make a vaccine booking with a significant number of them having already received their first vaccination.
‘To insist that those early years workers with a future agreed booking must now cancel is farcical.
‘Many early years workers were told by their local authorities or employers that they do qualify and a number of 119 operators were informing early years staff who made enquiries that they were entitled to a vaccine and that their vaccine would go to waste if they did cancel their booking.
‘We continue to make the case for priority vaccines for all early years workers and will continue to campaign on behalf of the sector for greater protection and support.’
When can nursery workers expect to receive Covid vaccine?
The government is yet to announce when nursery workers can expect to get their coronavirus vaccinations.
Schools in England remain closed until March 8 (Picture: Getty)
Chief executive Neil Leitch said: ‘It is unthinkable that having asked those in the early years sector to put their own health, and the wellbeing of their loved ones, at risk during lockdown, the government would even consider not ensuring that they are prioritised for the next phase of Covid-19.
‘The vast majority of those working in the early years do not have the option to work from home – they are on the frontline every day caring for and educating young children who do not and cannot socially distance.
‘With Covid cases in early years settings continuing to rise sharply, it is absolutely critical that all those working in nurseries, pre-schools and childminding settings, along with other education colleagues, are given the protection they need to continue doing their jobs as safely as possible.’
However, early indications suggest the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is likely to recommend that Phase 2 vaccinations are prioritised on the basis of age, and not occupation.
Who is currently being given the Covid vaccine?
The groups currently being offered the vaccine are as follows:
- People aged 65 and over
- People who are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- People who are at moderate risk from coronavirus (clinically vulnerable)
- People who live or work in care homes
- Health and social care workers
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