December 1, 2020
As pharmaceutical companies announce the positive results of their anti SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the European Commission secures a large number of doses for EU citizens, Member States initiate plans for vaccination of their population, including defining which category of people will first benefit from the vaccines.
The European Blood Alliance (EBA) as an association of not-for-profit European Blood Establishments requests that their staff be prioritised, especially those operating in donation centres who are in close contact with donors, and those working in the laboratories, who have no possibility to work remotely.
Including Blood Establishments’ staff in the priority list would follow the ECDC and WHO’s recommendations set in the ECDC “Preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination strategies and vaccine deployment” and the “SAGE values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination” highlighting the need for countries to develop a roadmap for public health strategies and to target priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination. The potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 has been acknowledged in the latest ECDC publication, “Coronavirus disease – 2019 (COVID-19) and supply of substances of human origin in EU/EEA”.
In order to ensure continuity of service, and to avoid critical disruption in the vital supply of blood and blood components which would otherwise severely impact delivery of health care in other areas, it is of paramount importance that professionals working in the field of blood provision are protected by a vaccine against COVID-19. This will secure a safe environment for donors and patients, as well as substantially contribute to well-functioning delivery of healthcare.