NHS Kent and Medway is urging school staff not to book for covid vaccinations after a booking link was shared· with some schools and via Whatsapp groups by mistake.
The link is for those who fall into priority groups of:
- aged over 70
- clinically extremely vulnerable as defined by the national guidance
- teachers and staff at special schools working directly with children with complex health needs; and therefore defined as frontline carers.
An NHS Kent and Medway plea to education staff says: “The link was shared in error and we are clarifying this through messages to all school leadership teams.
“We understand that some people have booked in good faith following the circulation of this link through education channels. But we would ask than no one else books a vaccine appointment through this route unless you are in one of the groups.
“By making a booking you are depriving someone else who is in the priority groups, and therefore more at risk of death or serious illness, of the opportunity to be vaccinated.
“Everyone will get the opportunity to be vaccinated, but this is being done in line with a national priority list to vaccinate those most at risk first.”
GP practices in Kent and Medway have also been asked to prioritise services which support the response to the coronavirus pandemic and Covid-19 vaccination programme.
- giving vaccinations
- support for patients with Covid-19
- care home support
- serious acute illness and deterioration in long term conditions
- support for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism
- support for digitally excluded/extremely clinically vulnerable patients with appointments
- essential drug monitoring
- palliative and end-of-life care
- high risk or poorly controlled long term condition care
- postnatal care
- blood tests for medicine monitoring to support high-risk long-term conditions.
Immunisations, vaccinations and cervical screening (smear tests) will also continue.
To give clinical teams the time and space to provide the support needed, GPs have been asked to suspend temporarily some non-essential services.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Clinical Chair Dr Navin Kumta said: “General Practice has an essential role to play in supporting the pandemic response; both with the vaccine and in caring for people with Covid-19.
“This is a practical step at an extremely busy time for the whole NHS. It will maximise how GP teams can focus on responding to the pandemic.
“People will still be able to contact their GP practices, but the following services are being suspended temporarily:
- IUCD checks and change
- pessary change
- new patient checks
- medication reviews in stable patients
- frailty and over 75 routine annual review
- minor surgery
- non-urgent investigations
- vitamin B12 injections unless clinically indicated
- non-core and locally commissioned services, unless clinically deemed essential.
“The suspension is planned until the end of March 2021 but will be kept under review.”
School staff(teachers,TAs,kitchen,office)should be given the vaccine,as priority cases.They are in close contact with children,where social distancing is nigh on impossible.School staff have to face these children daily,some of whom have parents,siblings etc,too irresponsible not to avoid mixing with groups outside their family.
If you want schools back to near normality,vaccinate school staff.It is simple.
Before those over 70 and also classed as extremely vulnerable who have been shielding since last March?
Teachers etc are mostly not likely to die if they contract coronavirus. They will, even if vaccinated, be able to transmit the disease and will have to self isolate.
Given that there is a finite supply of vaccine, giving a teacher a jab would achieve practically nothing, but depriving a vulnerable person would possibly lead to death.
The annual diabetes test was cancelled way back in the first lockdown and now with the B-12 injections being cancelled I worry that too many people will be suffering unknowingly. The GP surgerys should keep these services going not use the pandemic as an excuse not to give health services. They are not seeing many patients and just to get a telephone consultation it’s not always enough. Without the B-12 confusion, forgetfulness and severe fatigue is apparent. It is essential to keep these injections going. The nurses at the surgery carry these duties out so it doesn’t take any time from the GP’s anyway.
I just see these latest essential services as a breakdown of the NHS and GP service that will cause health issues for many patients.
Thanks to this government’s woeful handling of this situation in particular, and the NHS in general.
I think the situation re GP services is one of considering what’s best for the nation as a whole, rather than an individual.
Hopefully, as rapid progress is being made, some normal GP services can resume.
Let’s get this straight:
The Joint Cttee for vaccination and Immunisation or JCVI, thought very carefully about the best way to vaccinate the public.
They looked at how the virus was affecting sections of the community and decided on various priority groups, in order to save lives and reduce pressure on the NHS.
During this period the Clinical Commissioning group or CCG apparently did little thinking and planning.
With their woeful performance in parts of East Kent, I find this story more than a little hard to accept.
If you vaccinate those living in care homes you save many lives, and take the pressure off the NHS. The same applies to the other groups in descending order.
If you vaccinate thousands of teachers not only will you save only a fraction of the number of lives, you will continue the extreme pressure on the NHS and its staff.
It is not even going to stop the self isolation problem with schools, so will the teaching community please stop lobbying for special treatment and be patient.
The Kent + Medway CCG has proved to be an expensive and useless dud and this ‘mistake’ just shows how poorly organised they are.
To those individuals who took advantage of this ‘mistake, they need to think very hard.
What example are they showing to their pupils? Is denying vaccinations to others more at risk, or those working in the NHS to save patients, a morally defensible position?
Almost as soon as the vaccination programme began, every tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, teacher, bus driver, courier, take-a-way delivery etc has been jumping up and down shouting “me me me!”
I find it more than a little distasteful.
As George Nokes pointed out, the committee that decided the priority list did so after a great deal of careful thought.
For all of us, our turn will come. Even so, until most of us have had the vaccine, we’ll have to carry on living in lockdown anyway.
Not really, those most vulnerable have often been leapfrogged-care home residents & staff are still waiting for jabs, healthcare workers & NHS staff on the frontline dealing with this every day often still not getting the jab-yet the royals who have zero outside human contact, are waited on hand & foot & have everything they need bought to them have had the jab done at their palaces. We recently discovered that the usual government cock-ups with IT & corrupt NHS staff helping out their mates have seen people jumping the queue, while 80 year olds have to negotiate shopping at supermarkets just to eat.
You don’t find it distasteful that bus drivers have been dropping dead while trying to provide a service to those in need, while being told tough luck mate-you aren’t a priority? Yet you find it distasteful those most at risk dare to ask for a jab & tut-tut at them?
You do comprehend that the vaccine will not lift lockdown or lockdowns in the future? For one thing we have zero idea how long any immunity from them might last for-due to how rushed the whole process has been, that we don’t know how useful any of them will be against various mutations etc? That the whole thing is still reliant on people not behaving like idiots & strict controls at airports? How strange you don’t find it distasteful that it took 10 months to implement controls on people coming into this country, politicians running around breaking all the rules they insist everybody else has to follow without any punishment, people like Rita Ora doing as they please etc because they are wealthy, yet get upset about key workers asking when they will be inoculated.
“Yet you find it distasteful those most at risk dare to ask for a jab …”
Thinkers, tailors (etc) are not most at risk of dying, if they contract coronavirus. The groups identified by the JCVI are likely to die, if infected.
There is limited capacity to deliver a limited supply of vaccine. If you inocculate a bus driver (who is far less likely to die, and will still be infectious if he or she catches the virus), then you deny the vaccine to an older person, or someone with a chronic illness, or a front line nurse or doctor.
Ideally, there would be sufficient vaccine, andcenough practitioners, to do everyone at once. But there isn’t. So difficult choices have to be made.
It does make you laugh that you have all these bleating doctors etc on television & in the papers telling people it is vital they go to their GP if they have any problems, find lumps etc-yet it is a total postcode lottery as to whether that GP or their hospital trust will do anything. We have people now still being refused tests to see if they have cancer or not-some poor guy was on television the other day saying he has lost four stone, yet cannot even get any scans done. People’s cancer treatments have stopped etc.
Clearly despite all the lip service from the government & NHS nothing has been learned from the first lockdown-people in many areas are just being left to die from progressing cancers etc & not just old people either-but those who should have 40-60 years of their lives ahead of them. People paying into a system that isn’t there for them & are leaving them to die-because everything is about Covid.
Perhaps if this government had not cut NHS spending by 25% in recent years and had taken heed of the warnings given in recent years (not least by its it’s own “Cygnus” report, we might have been in a better position?
Sorry, I must disagree with NHS Kent but agree 100% with Eric. All school staff who have direct contact with children ARE at serious risk and should have the vaccine to protect them without delay.
My daughter has had Covid-19 as a direct result of working as a teaching assistant in primary school. She is back at work because she is needed but many weeks later is still exhausted. People will say that schools are closed now but teachers are still working every day, teaching and caring for the children of front line and key workers.
We calculated that approximately 15% of staff in my daughter’s school (some over sixty years of age) were infected at the same time as my daughter and that didn’t include the many relatives they passed it on to, my granddaughter being one of them. These people are proof of the fact that school staff need immediate protection.
I recently saw a report on TV which said that teachers were no more likely to contract Covid than anyone else but that is not true because 15% is much higher than the national average. My daughter is doing a BA Teaching Course (virtually) and of the 20 teaching assistants on the course, all of whom were from schools in the direct radius of Canterbury, 25% had Covid at the same time.
Front line and key workers are being given the vaccine and rightly so but it is imperative that those looking after their children should also be vaccinated because even though vaccinated, front line workers might still carry the disease and pass it on to others.
Many school staff were relieved to discover they weren’t being overlooked after all and made appointments for the vaccine, only to discover it was an error. Their hope was snatched away when all appointments made before the error was discovered were cancelled. That was inexcusable.
Teachers are essential front line workers so they must be protected.
School staff might be more likely to catch CV than care home residents, but they’re much less likely to die as a consequence.
Given that there is a finite supply of vaccine and vaccinators, who should the vaccine be taken away from in order to give teachers a jab? Captain Sir Tom and his cohort?
And as you point out, a vaccinated teacher could still be carrying and transmitting the virus; if they were their class bubble and colleagues would still have to self isolate. So vaccinating teachers would achieve very little, at a cost of hundreds or thousands of additional deaths.
The JCVI have not just stuck pins in a bit of paper to determine the priority list; without a shadow of a doubt they have thought long and hard about it.
The priority list currently in use in the UK is the one that will save most lives. If other groups are moved up, people will die.
I would like to point out that I am not suggesting school staff should be vaccinated ahead of care home residents, the elderly, front line staff or those with serious underlying conditions; these vulnerable people must of course have the vaccine first. However what I am saying is that because they are at considerable risk teachers must be given a priority placing in the ‘pecking order’ and not simply be regulated by age as they are now.
I understand that some specialist teachers are being given the vaccine but the thing that makes vaccination for all teachers essential is that they all have to give ‘one to one’ attention to pupils, especially in primary schools. For example; when assessing the reading ability of a pupil, when a child requires first aid after a fall, help in the toilet, when a very young child is distressed and needing to be comforted.
With young pupils these are examples of daily common occurrences where social distancing is not possible and that is why general school staff as well as specialist teachers should be in the ‘pecking order’ and not simply regulated by age.
The JCVI does not appear to have considered the job description of school staff, particularly those in primary schools, and is considering only the ‘teaching’ aspect of their work.
These vital members of our communities are far more than teachers; they are also carers and should be treated as such.