THE chief of West Yorkshire Police Federation has said the decision not to prioritise certain occupations, such as police officers and teachers, for the Covid-19 vaccine is "lazy".

It follows reports yesterday that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation was expected to recommend ministers do not prioritise people by the jobs in the next phase of the vaccine rollout, once priority groups one to nine have been completed.

It was reported they would recommend a continuation of the age prioritisation as the simplest and quickest way of getting out the vaccine, with an added focus on targeting BME communities which have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

Sources at the JCVI said to prioritise certain occupations, such as frontline emergency services workers, teachers, and supermarket workers, would be too "political", and would make the roll out "more complicated and risk slowing it down".

MORE: JCVI reported to say jobs priority 'too complicated'

Brian Booth, chair of West Yorkshire Police Federation, criticised the reports, and said that by working together it would be easy to get frontline key workers, most at risk of infection, to the front of the queue.

In a poll of T&A Instagram followers, 68 per cent of people said they disagreed with prioritising people by age and ethnicity over by their occupation.

He said: "There's no changing my stance on this, it's a ridiculous concept.

"There's officers who have been on the frontline and sadly died or are in hospital with this virus.

"Police tend to be fit and healthy but they are exposed more, going into other people's homes and dealing with people who often have a disregard for Covid rules.

"And it's not just them, it's people they live with, who could be elderly, asthmatic or going through chemotherapy who are also put at risk.

"We are managing at the moment through over-time but if there was a big outbreak at a station it would have a huge impact; this would be eradicated by giving officers the vaccine.

"We and other frontline key workers can't stay at home to work, we have to be out there dealing with people and entering people's homes, so should be made a priority.

"The attitude to prioritisation is pretty lacklustre, there needs to be a smarter approach working with organisations to identify those who are exposed to risk to protect true frontline key workers; that would be the best approach.

"Just saying it's too hard to prioritise certain occupations  is pretty lazy to me."

A formal decision on how the next phase of the vaccine rollout will unfold has not yet been made.

The Government wants to vaccinate all groups one to nine - the over 50s and all adults classed as vulnerable - by the end of April.