The Covid-19 vaccine

The vaccination programmes are managed by the health departments in each UK country or crown dependency. Information on arrangements for each territory can be found in the FAQs below.

Message from the CSP's CEO Karen Middleton

CSP vaccine policy statement

The CSP supports vaccination as a key public health intervention which saves lives and reduces the chances of debilitating long-term illnesses including Covid.

Vaccines are tested and shown to be both safe and effective. We therefore encourage all members and patients for whom vaccinations are recommended to be vaccinated.

We recognise, however, that a person’s individual state of health, or personal beliefs, may mean that vaccination is not appropriate for everyone. We therefore believe that vaccination should remain voluntary.

In prioritising vaccine programmes we believe that the disproportionate health outcomes for Black and Asian people should be considered as a significant risk factor. People from BAME backgrounds should have a higher priority for Covid vaccination.

We support members across all sectors in delivering vaccination programmes, but believe vaccination programmes and services should seek to minimise impacts on vital patient care. We therefore welcome initiatives to use the independent sector and returners to the profession as vaccinators.

We welcome the acceptance of governments that all frontline health and care staff, regardless of which sector they work in, should be high priorities for Covid vaccination. We also believe this should apply to students on placements involving face to face patient contact.

When will I be able to receive the vaccine?

This will depend on where you live, work or learn.

England

The National Booking System is not currently available to health care practitioners.

  • NHS staff and students on placement with the NHS
    NHS employers will arrange vaccinations for NHS staff and students on placement with the NHS.

  • Non-NHS members
    If in regular contact with patients or students on placement outside the NHS you should contact your GP and request vaccination as a healthcare worker.

You may be asked for identification and evidence of status when you attend your vaccination appointment.

Evidence could be a: work photo ID card, a signed letter of authorisation from your employer/business/HEI, a print off of your HCPC registration or a wage slip that is dated within the past three months.

Where a work photo ID is not available, alternative photographic identification (e.g. a passport or driving licence) may be required to support verification.

The CSP is leading a call to reinstate a national booking system for all eligible physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and support workers to access vaccinations.  


Wales

Following Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) guidance on the eligibility of physiotherapists and allied health professionals (AHPs) to access vaccination against Covid-19, we have confirmed these arrangements with the Welsh Health Boards. To access the vaccine locally, practising physiotherapists/AHPs in private practice and in patient-facing roles should use these contact details:


Northern Ireland

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is responsible for the coordination of the vaccine roll-out in Northern Ireland. HSC staff should access vaccination through their employer organisation.

HCPC-registered independent practitioners will be able to receive their Covid-19 vaccination via the trust-based programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A digital booking platform has been established for this purpose and they will be able to book an appointment at a time and location convenient to them. This can be at any trust vaccination site with availability on their preferred date.

In order to access the vaccination centre for your appointment, you will need to bring your Health and Care Number, Photographic ID and hard copy proof of HCPC registration. This must match the detail provided on booking.

For more general information on the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland, see the nidirect website.


Scotland

Health boards in Scotland are being asked to ensure that vaccinations are available to all frontline healthcare workers. 


Crown dependencies

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are following the same approach as the UK. Physios and physio support workers across all sectors are in the second tier of priority for vaccinations.

Isle of Man

NHS staff should seek advice through their employer. Members working outside the Manx NHS should call 111 and register as a tier two healthcare worker.

Channel Islands

The CSP has asked the public health authorities in Guernsey and Jersey to clarify arrangements for members across all sectors. Updates will be posted here.


As a physiotherapy student, am I entitled to the Covid-19 vaccine and when will I receive it?

See the latest answer to this question at in the student FAQs section.


Supporting the vaccination programme

I work in the NHS, can I support the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme?

Yes. Your NHS Trust or Board will confirm to their staff who is able to contribute to the vaccination programme in your organisation, and how you can do this. You should discuss this with your line manager.

In Northern Ireland there may be opportunities to undertake additional paid work.


I work outside the NHS, can I contribute to the vaccination programme?

It depends where you work. Any role will be as bank or temporary NHS employee or as work contracted with GPs.

England

Professionals are managing the England-wide recruitment campaign.

Wales

In Wales we recommend non-NHS practitioners looking for paid roles use these heath board links to express their interest:

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland additional staff were recruited before Christmas and are not currently being recruited. The CSP has highlighted non-NHS practitioners as a potential source of additional staffing to the health department.

Scotland

At this time the Scottish Government is confident that they have adequate numbers of vaccinators and support staff in place to deliver their vaccination plan, having recently trained a large cohort. They are therefore not looking to recruit at this stage.


I am not currently working but would like to return to support the vaccination programme. How do I do this?

Arrangements vary by country. Depending on what role you wish to undertake you may need to be HCPC-registered.

England

  • NHS Professionals are managing the recruitment campaign.
  • NHS Trust staff banks may also advertise for roles to support their vaccination programme.

Wales

In Wales there are opportunities for returners to either work in the vaccination programme or to volunteer:

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland additional staff were recruited before Christmas and are not currently being recruited. The CSP has highlighted non-NHS practitioners as a potential source of additional staffing to the health department.

Scotland

At this time the Scottish Government is confident that it has adequate numbers of vaccinators and support staff in place to deliver its vaccination plan, having recently trained a large cohort. It is therefore not looking to recruit at this stage.


The role I am applying for requires HCPC registration and I am no longer registered. How do I rejoin the register?

See our FAQs on Joining the 2021 Covid-19 response NHS workforce.


Is vaccination within my scope of practice and therefore covered by my CSP PLI?

Where you are providing Covid-19 vaccines as part of a vaccination programme or standalone vaccination clinic, you would not be undertaking this as a physiotherapy activity but rather as a capable individual who is well-placed to contribute to a local programme. You can do this, but you must be clear that it is not in the context of physiotherapy practice. In this situation you would not be covered by your CSP professional liability insurance (PLI).

However, anyone enlisted to support the Covid vaccination programme will be employed by the NHS either as part of their substantive role, via a staff bank or NHS Professionals. All members contributing will therefore be covered by their employer’s insurance; your employer holds the liability for your work. To be clear, you should have some documentation that shows your employer requires you to undertake Covid-19 vaccination as part of your role.


What training should I have undertaken to offer vaccinations?

You do not need to be a prescriber or a qualified injection therapist to deliver vaccinations by subcutaneous and/or intramuscular injection. However, you must ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and competence to do so. If you contribute to the vaccination programme, you will be employed by the NHS. The NHS Trust or Board in which you work is responsible for providing you with the necessary training.


What about the impact on my physiotherapy workload?

It is appropriate that physiotherapists use their capabilities to support the wider NHS workforce, but it is important that organisations take account of the impact this may have on patients accessing physiotherapy services.

It will be an organisational decision as to which service takes priority, and how staff are deployed to deliver services

If you are employed in NHS services and you are asked to allocate working time to provide vaccination clinics, you should consider the interruption this may have on your physiotherapy workload.


What is the CSP's position on when a second dose of the vaccine should be given?

We understand some members are concerned by the revised timescale of receiving a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, however this recommendation is based on the most current and up to date evidence as reviewed by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI).

The JCVI advice is, at this stage, the best available advice on how to maximise the health benefits of using available vaccines for the whole population. So, based on current evidence, the CSP does not oppose this change. Should any new evidence emerge to the contrary we will review, and may change, our advice.


Covid-19 status certification

What does the CSP think about 'vaccine passports'?

The CSP has submitted a response to the UK government consultation on Covid-19 status certification. Read the full statement:


AstraZeneca Covid vaccine and links to rare blood clots

Will I be affected by the Government announcement on 7 April relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine?

You may be affected. On 7 April the Government made an announcement regarding reports of the occurrence of rare blood clots following vaccination with the AstraZeneca (AZ) Covid vaccine. The announcement makes it clear that the link between these rare clots and the vaccine is still being monitored but is ‘becoming firmer’.

While the benefits of being vaccinated are seen considerably to outweigh the risk in older age groups, the announcement says that this is more finely balanced in younger age groups, where people do not have any underlying medical conditions that would make them more vulnerable to serious illness resulting from Covid.

The amended advice is:

  1. People who have already received their first AZ vaccine dose without any such adverse effects are advised to continue with having their second dose.
  2. People aged 18-29 who are yet to be vaccinated should be offered an alternative to AZ vaccine if one is available.
  3. People over 30 are encouraged to continue to come forward for all forms of vaccination as before.

All NHS staff and many healthcare workers outside the NHS will already have been offered and received a Covid vaccination and a significant proportion have now received both doses. Anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated and is under 30 can now expect to be offered an alternative vaccine where this is available.

We will update these FAQs as any further information becomes available.


Further resources

Last reviewed: