Police officers could become Covid-19 'superspreaders' without vaccine, it is warned

Suffolk police said it cannot yet say how Covid rules will be policed at Christmas. Stock picture. P

Police officers could become Covid 'superspreaders' if they are not vaccinated, a federation leader has warned - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Police officers could become Covid-19 "super-spreaders" if they are not vaccinated against the virus, a federation leader has warned.

Speaking during the week, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh told the BBC it was "incredible" that no plans were in place to give frontline officers the jab.

He said: "I find it breathtaking that the government aren't for one minute thinking 'we need to vaccinate our frontline officers so they protect themselves and protect the public'.

Assistant chief constable Rob Jones Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Assistant chief constable Rob Jones Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

Rob Jones, Suffolk's assistant chief constable, did not comment on the vaccine issue but said the county's force was "holding up well" in terms of Covid sickness. 

He said: "We have had a number of situations where we've had to deep clean police stations where we've had Covid cases.

"We're holding up well at the moment but we have had some virus outbreaks and had to readjust teams and resources."

ACC Jones also spoke of his pride at how officers and police staff have coped during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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"'I'd just like to emphasize we really recognise the risks that officers and staff take on," he said. 

"We're really proud of how they've responded to these situations through lots of changes and that we've managed to maintain low levels of sickness at the moment through being as careful as we can given the job that we do."

Meanwhile, the boss of the firm behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has raised hopes it is more effective than first thought amid the rapid spread of the UK virus strain across the globe.

AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot told the Sunday Times he believed researchers had found the "winning formula" using two doses and promised to publish the results as reports suggested the UK regulator could approve the jab within days.

The claim will come as some relief even as Canada became the latest country to identify cases of the new highly infectious variant of coronavirus, which was first detected in the UK and has since spread to at least a dozen countries.