On 8th December the first Coronavirus vaccinations were given in the UK, and this is the beginning of many months of vaccinations, with the aim of getting as many people as possible vaccinated by the middle of next year. The first 800,000 doses are planned throughout December, with more than 4 million planned by the end of January. With this huge programme rolling out, it’s understandable that the healthcare sector needs to find additional staff and ways of ensuring the programme is effectively carried out.
The BMA GP Committee England and NHSEI have agreed to provide an enhanced service for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and this should allow for quick and efficient vaccine administration. Healthcare businesses may look in a number of places to ensure they have the staff needed to effectively roll out the scheme. Below we’re looking at what the coronavirus vaccine programme requires and how healthcare providers can ensure they are appropriately staffed up.
The Coronavirus Vaccine Programme
At present the vaccine in use requires two doses per patient, with 21 to 28 days between each dose. Initially high risk groups are able to get the vaccine but this will soon be extended to cover groups like those able to get the flu vaccine:
- Those over 50
- Those considered high risk
- Care home residents and staff
- Healthcare workers
Healthcare practices can also vaccinate their own staff and be paid for doing so and pharmacies may eventually be commissioned too.
Delivering the vaccine programme should not require medically trained staff such as doctors and nurses to carry out the actual vaccination. Current guidelines suggest a registered healthcare professional must carry out the clinical assessment, but the administration of the vaccine can be carried out by a trained non-registered staff member, with appropriate supervision.
Staffing up for Vaccination Rollout
Healthcare providers will probably begin by using their staff already qualified to provide vaccinations to carry out the bulk of the work, but this may not be enough for the full vaccination programme. It is a great time to consider recruitment and consider training new staff in this new and extremely important skill or consider the benefits of hiring apprentices.
Apprentices in the healthcare sector can be trained in a wide range of non-clinical roles and provide vital auxiliary support for the existing team. As the demands for the healthcare sector increase daily, willing and dedicated new employees are going to be extremely sought after. The vaccination rollout is an opportunity to hire and train new apprentices who are committed to a future in healthcare and supporting the country as it recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic. Apprentices may end up in auxiliary or allied health professions or in hospital and practice management, dependent on their skillset and interests as they develop.
The Coronavirus vaccination programme is a positive step forward in the battle against this dangerous virus and we should do all we can to help it run successfully.
Find out more about recruiting an apprentice today