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PHS workers require priority access to COVID-19 vaccine

On the 14th of December, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI Europa issued a joint statement on European and national COVID-19 vaccination strategies.

Whereas EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI-Europa are delighted by the announcement that the European Commission is progressing with the acquisition of a large number of doses of anti-COVID 19 vaccine, they expressed their concerns when it comes to the definition of priority groups to which Member States should ensure easy access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Indeed, in the European Commission proposal for a coordinated approach to the distribution of vaccines across EU Member States released on October 15, 2020, there is no explicit mention to homecare and other Personal and Household Services (PHS) workers on the priority groups. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, PHS workers have demonstrated their commitment in providing care and support, notably to vulnerable people. 

Therefore, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI-Europa call on the European Commission, in accordance with WHO guidance, to specifically mention PHS workers among the priority group lists of “Essential workers outside the health sector” and “workers unable to physically distance” in any future documents setting out Europe’s vaccination strategy. 

The full joint statement is available here