The COVID-19 vaccine development has moved at record speed. With more than 170 different vaccines in trial. The first vaccination programme began in December 2020, and as of 25th April 2021, more than 46 million people have now been vaccinated in the UK.
The huge influx of people receiving the vaccine means that a substantial workforce is needed to maximize vaccine administration around the globe.
It’s vital for new and existing healthcare professionals to be given the time and opportunity to undertake thorough training, develop clinical skills and assert confidence in immunisation.
The main purpose of training is to help facilitate safe and effective vaccination whilst acknowledging that an effective immunisation programme should be prioritised before administration.
[Recommendations for correct storage procedures, injection route, anatomy and physiology of the skin are detailed in our Immunisation and Vaccination Training.]
In this post, we’ll cover how the COVID-19 vaccination programme has caused a shift in the industry, with the tens of thousands of former nurse staff, students, and volunteers all playing an important role in the vaccine rollout.
The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 became the first COVID-19 vaccine that could be administered in the UK when it was authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). BioNTech and Pfizer suggest that it is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 when two doses are given.
The AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine and the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine are available across the UK. Other vaccines are expected to follow throughout 2021.
Essentially the vaccines use the same strategy to protect us from COVID-19: fooling our bodies into thinking we’ve been infected. By doing this, it allows our immune systems to build a memory of the virus, allowing us to be better prepared to fight against it in the future.
Across the UK, some clinical services are operating on a reduced basis, with staff being redeployed to help assist with the COVID-19 vaccine programme.
It’s harder now for healthcare professionals to explore the field and meet nursing, clinical or midwifery experts, hear about their challenges and understand the context of their working environments. The pandemic has put a stop to all of that.
But despite these uncertain times, healthcare professionals have volunteered to be at the heart of the response to the pandemic. They have managed the intense circumstances whilst remaining forward-looking and resilient. For that, we are extremely grateful and continue to show our constant support.
The NHS are vaccinating millions of people around the country as quickly as possible. At the same time trying to keep their vital services running. To show support, thousands of people have joined the vaccination programme and the NHS have dispensed a strong workforce around the country.
A national protocol has been developed to enable those who are registered healthcare professionals who do not usually vaccinate, as well as un registered health and care professionals (this may include student nurses, student midwives and student nursing associates) to safely administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
The industry has even utilised the essential experience and skills of individuals from the hospitality and airline sector to assist with the advancement of the vaccination programme.
The vaccination programme has caused a huge shift in the need for new skills development.
We recognise that at this time we should make every effort to ensure that all educators are competent, confident, and skilled in providing safe training to healthcare and industry professionals.
Anna Boyce, our Clinical Educator remains positive, believing the status of nursing has ‘reached meteoric heights in the public’s mind’, which should ‘stimulate enrolments to training’.
Our training is designed to provide the health and care workforce involved in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme with the knowledge they need to confidently deliver the vaccine programme effectively.
To help facilitate learning, our registered nurses with first-hand clinical experience provide theoretical and practical training, where you can gain the understanding of the skills, competencies, and underpinning knowledge to safely administer vaccines to patients.
To ensure optimum safety, our clinical educators have continued to deliver CPD accredited courses to the highest standard both face-to-face, over MS Teams and ZOOM. Click here to see how we’ve been operating our training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How will we recover from this pandemic is a question foremost in many people’s mind. From an educator’s perspective, and I speak for healthcare only, the focus remains on providing our future workforce with the theoretical and clinical exposure required to develop competent, compassionate, and effective practitioners.
I feel reassured by our current trainees’ motivation, positivity, and commitment, as they continue to significantly contribute and rise to the many challenges and situations that they are faced with.
Are you looking to help participate in the COVID -19 vaccination programme?
We need your unique range of skills and experiences to help tackle this public health emergency. If we all show our support, we can positively contribute to developing a safe and virus free community once again.
There are no limits in tackling the pandemic. We are reaching out to you.
DIRECTOR OF NURSING
“We stand proud of every single individual in the field who aims to protect and save the lives of their patients, residents, and one another.”