U-turn on Covid jabs for Scots Ambulance and NHS 24 staff welcomed by union – Daily Record

Union bosses have welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to prioritise Covid jabs for emergency workers.

They claimed the decision was a u-turn after ministers’ initial refusal to fast-track vaccines for all Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and NHS 24 staff.

Unite raised concerns last week over the threat of Covid to Scotland’s emergency response that includes around 500 workers employed by SAS as control room handlers.

A Unite spokesman highlighted that the Scottish Government had argued that both workforces are not ‘patient facing’ and do not qualify for the immediate prioritisation of the vaccination programme.

And they claimed that following union pressure ministers have agreed to defer the decision to SAS management who are now planning to vaccinate control room workers nationwide.

The first vaccination was delivered this morning at 07.15 with a programme being implemented over four days.

Unite Scottish Secretary, Pat Rafferty, said: “Unite is delighted that following our pressure the Scottish Government agreed to defer the decision for vaccinating control room workers to the Scottish Ambulance Service who agreed with us that all their workforce should be prioritised.

“It was a bizarre position for the Scottish Government to initially not prioritise the workers because they are not ‘patient facing’.

“Without them we don’t have an effective service so it’s a relief for the workers and we welcome that by the end of this week all control room staff will now receive the vaccination.”

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