Can I volunteer to administer covid vaccines?

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Covid immunisation programmes in the UK can now use two vaccines to aid their efforts, with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs fully approved and operational. The promising news gave many Brits some tentative hopes of a way out of the pandemic, with millions of people vaccinated by the end of December. But other nations have quickly passed the UK in their vaccine coverage, highlighting local rollout delays.

Can I volunteer to administer Covid vaccines?

Ministers have attempted to speed up vaccine rollout wherever possible, starting with recruitment.

On top of retraining NHS workers, officials have also looked to enlist members of the public.

Not everyone can sign up, however, and volunteering won’t provide the same roles as those who already have training.

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One of the volunteering opportunities available is with St John’s Ambulance, a volunteer-led first aid charity.

The organisation has offered aid vaccine distribution as England’s “national health reserve”.

But instead of recruiting from members of the public, St John’s is taking from its existing pool of volunteers.

Richard Lee, Chief Operating Officer for St John Ambulance, said the organisation is “upskilling” existing first aiders.

He said: “Between now and spring 2021, we have plans to train more than 30,000 volunteers, using our longstanding expertise in empowering people with lifesaving clinical skills and the confidence to use them, every day.

“We have started upskilling our first aid trained volunteers and staff for this new work.

“More than 2,000 St John volunteers have signed up for this programme in just over a week, and we will be working on targeted recruitment to grow our capacity across a range of clinical and supporting roles, with the first cohort ready by December 1.”

The NHS website states they have not opened volunteering for vaccine delivery to the general public “at this stage”.

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Although this will rule out general public involvement in vaccine rollout, people can still help elsewhere.

The NHS recommends people willing to do so help out with their local community where possible.

They state people should help with food or medication deliveries, or try the “check-in and chat” programme.

People can also sign up to become a steward volunteer and direct people to get their Covid vaccinations.

To sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder, people will need to:

  • Reside in England and be over 18-year-old
  • Use a smartphone to receive tasks via the GoodSAM app
  • Decide which role they wanted to sign up for
  • Consider whether they have any health conditions which make them clinically vulnerable to Covid-19
  • Be able to volunteer and go on duty “as much as possible”

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