Cabin crew train as vaccinators to aid NHSJan 14, 2021
CABIN crew at budget airline easyJet are playing their part in the nationwide distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
More than 3,000 employees at the Luton-based airline are first aid trained and security-cleared. With easyJet currently operating a hugely reduced schedule due to current government restrictions, many staff are enrolling to become trained vaccinators.
Last year the airline worked with the NHS on recruiting its first aid trained cabin crew volunteers to support clinical services in NHS Nightingale hospitals and airline staff to volunteer as NHS responders.
Cabin crew and pilots have volunteered to support the NHS through Project Wingman to provide wellbeing support to front-line clinical staff in 85 hospitals across the UK.
The airline wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in November to offer support to the government on its efforts to implement the national Covid-19 vaccination programme this winter. Hundreds of easyJet crew are expected to sign up to continue supporting the NHS as vaccinators.
easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “I know so many of them will step up to help at this challenging time for the country.
“The progress the country is making on the vaccination programme is an exciting and much-needed development. Once rolled out, it will enable normal life to return and is undoubtedly the key to unlocking travel again. We are pleased and proud to be able to play our part and stand by ready to support wherever else we can.”
Crew who apply will be fast-tracked and will undergo online training and onsite immunisation training to become fully qualified in administering the vaccine at NHS vaccination centres.
One of the first NHS trusts in England to enlist the support of easyJet crew is Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. Chief executive Elliot Howard-Jones said: “Their first-aid and caring skills will make them ideally suited to help deliver the huge task we currently face, to give those most at risk protection against the COVID-19 virus.
“On behalf of all the Trust and our patients we truly appreciate their support and look forward to beating this pandemic together.”
Katy Bryant has been cabin crew for easyJet since 2005 and is based at Luton. She has applied to become a vaccinator.
“Like everyone, I am incredibly grateful to our NHS and all frontline healthcare workers for all they continue to do for the country with the continued pressure they are facing from the virus so when the opportunity came for cabin crew to assist the NHS as vaccinators I knew I wanted to apply.
“As cabin crew we are in a great position to support the vaccination effort because of the first aid and safety-focused training we receive for our job.”