Frontline healthcare workers concerned over delay of second Covid-19 vaccine dose

  • Healthcare workers worred about delay of their second vaccine dose
  • Hospital worker's union calls on health minister to re-think government plan 

A hospital workers’ union has expressed concern over the delay of the second Covid-19 vaccine dose being given to frontline healthcare workers. 

Frontline staff in Manchester’s hospitals were originally going to get their two doses within 28 days of each other, but that gap was extended last month and now doctors and nurses could be waiting for months between the two doses.

The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) has written to Matt Hancock after plans to give the two doses within 28 days of each other were scrapped in order to give a higher number of vulnerable people their first vaccine dose sooner.

HCSA general secretary Dr Paul Donaldson said: “This chaotic approach is creating huge anxiety on the ground and is illogical in the face of a lengthy second wave of Covid-19, which threatens to take a high percentage of staff away from the front line through sickness or self-isolation.

“We are hearing that vulnerable hospital doctors at high risk from Covid have been told not to turn up for their second dose and therefore will not receive full protection. 

“They are now left in limbo by a hastily formulated policy which seems extremely ill-thought out”.

The HCSA is concerned the change could result in more frontline healthcare workers becoming ill, a point echoed by local hospital workers.

A nurse from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, said she will have a “massive gap” between doses and that she is “worried that not being fully protected will make me a risk to my patients”.

Local healthcare worker Stephanie Vaughn, 47, said: “There is definitely a feeling of anxiety among healthcare workers in Manchester because of the delay of the second jab.

“I think it mainly comes down to the fact we just want as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible and we really just have to trust the government’s plan and be patient with it.

“The end is in sight and we must keep that in mind.”

The government’s vaccine delivery plan currently states that all doctors and nurses should receive their first dose of the vaccine by mid-February.