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Frontline Health and Care Workers

Last updated 25 July 2022

Frontline health and care workers are eligible for a primary course and booster dose of COVID vaccine, and will be eligible for an autumn booster in 2022.

National guidance on "frontline health and care workers"

National guidance on COVID vaccination is provided in the "Green Book", which defines frontline health and care workers as follows (as at 25 July 2022):

Recommendations by staff groups

The objective of occupational immunisation of health and social care staff is to protect workers at high risk of exposure who may also expose vulnerable individuals whilst providing care. There is limited evidence that vaccination leads to a reduction in transmission, and even a small effect may have major additional benefit for staff who could expose multiple vulnerable patients and other staff members. Potential exposure to COVID-19, and therefore the priority for vaccination, may vary from workplace to workplace. Therefore, it is recommended that these staff groups are offered primary vaccination against COVID-19 as outlined below.

Frontline healthcare staff

This includes the following groups:

  • Staff involved in direct patient care: This includes staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings. This includes doctors, dentists, midwives and nurses, paramedics and ambulance staff, pharmacists, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and radiographers. It should also include those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services. Staff working on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, temporary staff, students, trainees and volunteers who are working with patients must also be included.
  • Non-clinical staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings: This includes non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care. This group includes receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners.
  • Laboratory and pathology staff: Hospital-based laboratory and mortuary staff who frequently handle SARS-CoV-2 or collect or handle potentially infected specimens, including respiratory, gastrointestinal and blood specimens should be eligible as they may also have social contact with patients. This may also include cleaners, porters, secretaries and receptionists in laboratories. Frontline funeral operatives and mortuary technicians/embalmers are both at risk of exposure and likely to spend a considerable amount of time in care homes and hospital settings where they may also expose multiple patients.
    Staff working in non-hospital-based laboratories and those academic or commercial research laboratories who handle clinical specimens or potentially infected samples will be able to use effective protective equipment in their work and should be at low risk of exposure, and of exposing vulnerable patients.

Frontline social care workers

  • This includes front-line social care workers who provide care closely and regularly to those who are clinically vulnerable. Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are defined by the JCVI priority groups: a) children of any age with severe neuro-disability, severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities (including Down’s syndrome and those on the learning disability register) or immunosuppression (as defined in table 4), b) adults who have underlying health conditions leading to greater risk of disease or mortality as defined in table 3, c) those of advanced age. This includes:
    • those working in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality
    • social care staff directly involved in the care of clinically vulnerable patients or clients
    • others involved directly in delivering social care such that they and clinically vulnerable patients/ clients are at increased risk of exposure

Young people age 16-17 years, who are employed in, studying or in training for health and social care work should be offered a full course of primary vaccination alongside their colleagues. Younger people who are taking part in health and social care work as volunteers, interns or for the purposes of work experience, should make all efforts to avoid exposure to infection; they should be offered vaccination in line with other under 16s.

Further Information

More information about COVID-19 vaccination in Powys is available from our COVID-19 vaccination page.