"It's lunacy NHS staff won't get Covid vaccine first," says furious caller

4 December 2020, 11:04

By Fiona Jones

This furious caller brands it "lunacy" that NHS staff will no longer get the coronavirus vaccine first, after the Government's drastic rethink about who should be given priority.

NHS workers have been moved down the vaccine priority list, with the first wave of immunisation being given to care home staff, hospital inpatients and outpatients aged over 80 instead, it emerged last night.

The vaccine queue was drafted after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised that the first priority for the vaccine rollout programme should be to prevent "mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems."

Caller David told LBC's David Lammy, "I don't see how you can protect the NHS without protecting the NHS staff. I think it's absolute lunacy that they're suggesting this...it's just ridiculous that they can't realise the national health service workers should be vaccinated first."

David Lammy countered that the Government will have acted on the knowledge that a virus "tears through a care home once it gets in" - however pointed out there will be 400,000 able to receive the doses in the first rollout and there are 1.6 million people across social care.

"It sounds like this is done by the committee that has 100 people on it and they've designed a camel that's normally a horse," said the caller, "it's frightening."

Caller David is 73, he told LBC, "If I get ill I want to know the NHS are protected to look after me."

While that can not be guaranteed over Christmas, there will be a guarantee of socially distanced hospital beds and sufficient PPE, David Lammy said.

"How many medical people have died?" asked the caller, to which David said, "Many."

"That's my point," said the caller.

Both agreed that NHS workers should have the vaccine first, a moment which the caller joked was the only time the pair would be in agreement.