Cole-Hamilton calls for new permanent vaccine workforce

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today urged the Scottish Government to offer new hope for Scotland’s vaccination effort as he proposed “jobs giving jabs” and the creation of a new permanent vaccination workforce.

This week Health Secretary Humza Yousaf acknowledged that hundreds more vaccinators were needed to deliver flu and accelerated covid boosters following the emergency of Omicron and that “the biggest constraining factor is workforce”.

Under Mr Cole-Hamilton’s proposals people could undergo paid training and form part of a new class of healthcare professional. These new professional vaccinators could be charged with delivering vaccination drives, such as the annual influenza vaccine delivery and future rounds of covid jabs.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“I am so grateful to all the medical professionals and volunteers who stepped to put jabs into our arms. Their efforts have been truly outstanding. 

“The problem is that many of them are now needed back in their normal jobs and are busier than ever as the NHS works to get back up to speed. Dentists and optometrists are going to be needed. The patchwork of vaccinators is under strain. A new permanent vaccine workforce could help fill their shoes and alleviate the pressure on other areas of healthcare long term. Even before covid vaccine drives involved huge amounts of work.

“In the past there were many tasks that it was thought only a GP could do. Over time we have seen other skilled professionals including nurses and pharmacists take work on because they had the necessary skills. What I am proposing is an extension of that same trend, with the creation of a new class of qualified healthcare professional focused on vaccines.

“I want to deliver new hope for Scotland's health and I believe that should involve a jabs army delivering vaccinations and relieving the pressure on overstretched staff."

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