‘The BMA has made an urgent call for all health and social care workers to be vaccinated by the end of January and for those at greatest risk of contracting covid-19 to be vaccinated within two weeks. It said that this was essential, to protect an already depleted workforce and to help prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed in the next three weeks…

The BMA’s chair of council, Chaand Nagpaul, said, “There are almost 27 000 patients with covid-19 being treated in hospitals in England—an increase of more than 50% since Christmas Day. Hospitals are becoming like war zones, and healthcare workers are the exhausted foot soldiers on the front line. GPs are similarly pushed to the limit, delivering an unprecedented mass vaccination programme in the community seven days a week.

“All of these workers are at constant risk of becoming infected, yet they are, beyond all doubt, the most important cog in the covid-19 ‘care machine.’ If they fall ill with the virus and cannot work there will be reduced care, fewer vaccinations given, fewer medical procedures, and fewer patients getting better and going home from hospital, where they may then need GP care. They are also at huge risk and working often 18 hour days.”

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, WHO-HIFA Collaboration: HIFA project on Essential Health Services and COVID-19