7 December 2020

COVID-19 vaccine update for England

The College has been involved in discussions with NHSE to ensure optometrists are given access to COVID-19 vaccinations as early as possible.

The College has been involved in discussions with NHSE and each of the devolved nation’s governments since the summer to ensure that optometrists, dispensing opticians and practice teams are given access to COVID-19 vaccinations as early as possible. 

Following approval last week by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, all UK governments have confirmed that they will follow the independent advice received from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which recommends prioritising those with the greatest clinical need - including those aged over 80 and health and social care workers. Read the full JCVI report.

This would mean that optical staff would be treated as frontline health and social care workers, listed as the second-highest priority group in the vaccination programme.

The details and timings of the vaccination programme are now being developed and we want to reassure you that we are actively involved in these discussions and working with sector partners to ensure our profession is appropriately prioritised within the JCVI recommendations.

As soon as the details of the programme are confirmed, we will inform our members.

We are also anticipating updates from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.

This article was correct at time of publication. 

Related further reading

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