Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner is calling for police and council key workers to receive COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
Martyn Underhill has sent a letter to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises health departments on immunisation.
He suggests police staff as well as frontline council workers such as teachers should be offered vaccinations in the same way that health and social workers have already been prioritised.
The letter reads: “Collectively we stand alongside our NHS and Social Care colleagues, and we support the Government position to offer priority vaccinations to frontline health and social care workers.
“However, the public sector is only as strong as its weakest link, and both councils and policing are already offering significant support to our wider health colleagues in their endeavours. It is therefore of concern that as infection rates continue to rise, the ability of our workforce to support the shared testing and vaccination efforts will diminish.”
The letter is co-signed by police and council leadership.
Mr Underhill says: “Ideally, we would want to see both testing and vaccination programmes for police officers and other frontline staff, enabling us to ensure we are still able to provide a quality service to the public as the country struggles through the darkest days of the pandemic.
“But we recognise the hugely complex challenges of managing the mass vaccination programme, and that we therefore have to be pragmatic. We accept there may be limitations, but we are asking the JCVI to extend the current provision of key worker support beyond health and social care staff.”