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Ridge signs letter urging staff to get Covid vaccine

Chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge is among the signatories to a letter sent by NHS England & Improvement to front-line health and social care workers urging them to get a Covid vaccination.

The letter, sent yesterday (January 27) to health staff including pharmacists, encourages them to get vaccinated “as soon as possible” and stresses the vaccine is safe and effective amid concerns that some people, particularly those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, are reluctant to have it.

The government wants to offer some four million NHS staff a first dose of the vaccine by the middle of next month and the second dose within 12 weeks.

“As with any medicine, Covid-19 vaccines have gone through strict approval processes,” the letter said.

“The MHRA have assessed both vaccines that are available and approved them for use because they have a good safety record and are highly effective, with both vaccines offering a high level of protection from illness from two weeks after the first dose.

“The vaccines cannot give you coronavirus and will help keep you well if you come into contact with it, meaning you can continue to be there for the people that need us at this incredibly difficult time.”

The letter was also signed by the head of nursing, midwifery, general practice and dentistry among others.

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