18 Oct 2021
by Carole Broughton

Standard operating procedure - how frontline care staff can access COVID-19 booster vaccinations 

Following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which recommended that frontline care workers should be one of the groups prioritised for COVID-19 booster vaccinations, an updated standard operating procedure (SOP) has been published by DHSC, LGA, ADASS and the NHS.

Under the booster roll-out, termed Phase 3, all social care workers in England who were previously prioritised in cohorts 1 and 2 in the earlier vaccination programme are covered by the SOP.  This sets out how:

  • Eligible frontline social care workers can access COVID-19 booster vaccinations.  This must be six months or more after completion of their primary vaccine course.  In homecare, workers can book through the National Booking Service or attend a 'grab-a-jab' walk in, pop up or mobile site.  Workers have to provide proof of current employment as a social care worker (workplace photo ID badge, employer's letter or recent payslip), and preferably their NHS number.
  • Social care workers who have yet to be fully vaccinated under the earlier programme can access the COVID-19 vaccine under the ‘Evergreen’ offer.  The SOP emphasises the need to encourage vaccination, and refer those with low vaccine confidence to support and available resources (listed in the SOP).

The Homecare Association has previously emailed members about booster vaccination, based on earlier DHSC information.  

The SOP contains more detail about how the programme will operate, and the duties of NHS vaccination providers, local authorities, and employers to encourage vaccination, as well as on workers themselves to be vaccinated. It covers who is eligible, how frontline social care workers can access vaccination, how they prove identity/eligibility as a frontline worker, and recording and reporting by employers. 

The main information about Phase 3 is on pages 5 to 18 (highlighted in yellow) of the Frontline social care workers standard operating procedure – updated to reflect phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccination programme Version 2, 13 October 20.  

There is a campaign toolkit to encourage health and social care staff to be vaccinated and a separate advertising campaign for the public, with the Prime Minister urging eligible people of 50 and over to be vaccinated.

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