Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed clarification domiciliary care workers who work for independent providers will be included alongside dentists, pharmacists and optometrists in the next round of the vaccination programme.
However, South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw also renewed her call for consideration of all allied health professionals to be included at this stage.
“It was essential domiciliary care workers be included because they are themselves often working with people most vulnerable to the virus and therefore their inclusion offers double protection – helping not just themselves but also everyone they come across in their line of work,” she said.
“While the clarification for domiciliary care workers, dentists and optometrists is welcome, I would ask at least for consideration to be given to prioritisation of other allied health professionals at this or an early stage. There is also a case for special educational needs school teachers and informal carers to be considered for prioritisation purposes by the JCVI.
“We should at this stage also reflect on the great work being done on the frontline by other occupational groups, from bus drivers to prison officers to homeless hostel staff. Clarification on when they will be able to be part of the vaccination process would also be a welcome step over the coming days.”