Covid Vaccine - 473/21

Date Responded 28 April 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

I understand that numerous members of non-operational Police Staff and Officers have received excess covid vaccines whereas there are still Operational Police Officers who haven’t received a vaccine. As a result of this could you explain:

1. The policy AND procedure for deciding who receives excess vaccines and what the priority order is?

2. Why non-operational staff have been offered a vaccine before attempting to contact operational officers to see if they are available?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. No information held. We do not hold such a policy or procedure.

2. It should also be noted that questions which ask “why”, rather than recorded information which would be held by the force are unlikely to garner a response. As per Section 84 of the Act, only information held in a recorded format will be considered for the purposes of Freedom Of Information (FOI). Therefore, views and opinions will not to be provided unless there is specific recorded information held in relation to the question asked. Under FOI we would only consider the disclosure of actual recorded information.

However, outside of the Act we can advise that our workforce completed a vaccine survey, providing information about risk factors which included age. These were assessed and a priority status was allocated. Vaccines are allocated based on risk level and also on if they have selected that they are able to attend the local authority location they are based at. Due to some time constraints for some vaccines we issue to officers in critical roles who can attend quickly while on duty to prevent wastage of the vaccine.

As the process has continued we have had to factor in side effects which happen in limited cases but would preclude the vaccination of whole shifts.

The vaccines themselves are not guaranteed and this is from surplus available via primary care and vaccination centres with little predictability.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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