Don’t jump the vaccine queue urges RCM

NHS Covid-19 Maternity Safety

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is appealing for patience from NHS staff waiting for their second COVID-19 vaccination. The call follows reports of some NHS staff trying to get a second vaccination ahead of their planned dates.

“We know you are anxious and perhaps feeling frustrated about when you will get your second vaccine and that is absolutely understandable,” said Suzanne Tyler, The RCM’s Executive Director for Services to Members. “However, it is vital that as many people as possible get the first vaccine which gives significant protection against the virus and makes all of us safer, including the women and babies you care for,” she added.

NHS England has written to all NHS trusts about the strict requirement for a 12-week gap for staff and patients between the first and second doses, to maximise the number that can get the initial dose. The RCM has been campaigning and lobbying heavily throughout the pandemic to ensure the safety of midwives, maternity support workers and their colleagues.

“We do share your concerns about your safety but if you have had the first does you already have significant protection from the virus. We know that the vast majority of our members would not dream of jumping the queue but there are no grey areas here,” said Suzanne Tyler. “If you jump the queue to get a second dose you could be preventing somebody else from getting a first dose and having the protection that comes with that and that is patently unfair and unacceptable,” she said.

Media reports say that trusts are prepared to take disciplinary action against staff and refer them to the Nursing and Midwifery Council if they are deemed to be queue jumping.  If you are anxious about your safety at work speak to you RCM health and safety representative and raise your concerns with management rather than take measures into your own hands urges the RCM.