Hundreds of South Yorkshire Police officers given leftover Covid-19 vaccines

Hundreds of South Yorkshire Police officers have been given leftover Covid-19 vaccines to protect them working on the frontline.

A picture of a generic police officer.

The Yorkshire Post understands that more than 700 officers working for the South Yorkshire force have had the vaccine due to surplus doses being available at the end of a day.

South Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Steven Kent said he hoped as many officers as possible would receive the vaccine in this way, after police officers were "ignored" in the Government's roll out of the jab.

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The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation announced phase two of its Coronavirus vaccination programme late last month and did not include any priority provision for police officers.

Jabs will be administered on an age group basis, meaning some prisoners will get their jabs before some police officers in line with when they would have got them had they been out in the community.

Mr Kent said: "The force are doing their best to obtain surplus vaccines that otherwise would have gone to waste for our officers and staff and for that they deserve credit.

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The force confirmed there has been occasions when officers have been invited to receive surplus vaccines and that it has been done on a priority basis.

In a statement, the force said: "Since the start of the vaccine roll-out there has been occasions where South Yorkshire police officers have been invited to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccines are only offered in cases where there are surplus doses available at the end of the day. Due to the nature of their job and their varied shift patterns, our officers can often deploy to centres at short notice, ensuring no spare vaccines are wasted.

"The force policy on officers receiving vaccines in this way is that if a centre contacts us and notifies us of spare doses, we act in line with the nationwide roll-out and prioritise those employees who are the most vulnerable. This enables us to keep abstractions at a minimum and ensure our officers can remain at work, on the front-line and keeping the public safe."