As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout progresses across the world we appreciate that our members are anxious to receive access to the programmes as soon as possible.

The College has been actively campaigning for access for its members since the launch of the priority group classifications by the Joint Committee of Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) late last year. This includes writing to all four Health Ministers.

Since the announcement it has been confirmed by both the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and all UK Governments that podiatrists fall under JCVI Priority Category 2: Frontline Health and Social Care. This is regardless of the sector in which you work. In many cases this category will cover not just the HCPC registered professional but also all patient-facing staff within your practice. Information is changing rapidly, and we will continue to update this page with the latest information as it becomes available. As always, our social media channels will provide updates as they become available.

NHS employees

Within the NHS, all staff have been given access to details on how they are to access the programme in their area. This may vary between being invited to attend for an appointment or being asked to register via a phone line or portal. If you are unsure of how to access your vaccine then you should contact your line manager, check your staff resource hub or your occupational health department. Please note that all regions will be responsible for their own rollout and there may be regional variances on prioritisation of professions to receive the vaccine.

Academic staff and students

Please check with your university for details on categorisation and access to the programmes.

Independent and private practitioners

The route to access registration for JCVI Priority Group 2 is more complex for those in independent practice. Whilst all administrations have agreed that the independent healthcare sector is to be given access, not all areas had facilitated this in the early days of the programme rollout. The College, along with many other healthcare unions, continues to advocate on behalf of its members for fair and timely access to these programmes. Nation specific advice is below. We appreciate both your frustrations and your patience as the vaccine deployment teams work to allow access to all who require the vaccine. Please note that all regions will be responsible for their own rollout and there may be regional variances on prioritisation of professions to receive the vaccine.


19 January 2021

The majority of trusts and CCGs are asking healthcare staff from the independent sector to register via their GP practice. Some practices have launched a callout to this sector asking them to register their status. NHS England updated its Operational Guidance on 7 January 2021 instructing teams to allow access to the programme to those in the independent sector. This information may take time to filter down to the GP practice level. If you have been rejected by a GP practice prior to this date, then you may wish to use the updated letter template below. If you wish to request your GP practice update your records to reflect your priority group, the College has provided example text for you to use. We would advise that you submit a printed or electronic letter where possible as all practices are exceptionally busy at this time.

Update 5 February 2021
COVID vaccinations for AHPs who do not hold an NHS contract

We have been advised by NHS England that members in England who do not hold an NHS contract should go to the website of their local hospital hub where they will find more information about their local booking process (local to home or work). If such information is not available on the website you should enquire about the process via the hospital switchboard. Find a list of all the hospital hubs in England here

Ensure you have your HCPC registration documentation and employer/business documentation to clarify your role. You may also be asked for photo ID. Hospital hubs have been asked to be pragmatic in enabling health and care workers to access the vaccine.

This letter was sent to all NHS Trust CEOs, Chief Nursing Officers, Vaccine SROs, Primary Care Networks and GP practices, in which it states that the vaccination should be available to … ‘those working in independent, voluntary and non-standard healthcare settings such as hospices, and community-based mental health or addiction services.’

Template letters to GPs confirming frontline health and social care worker status

We recommend that you copy these templates onto your own practice letterhad before filling in the relevant fields.
Please note that these templates are for College members only - members will need to login to access them.

Your practice may have alternative registration processes in place and information should be available at a local level.


19 January 2021

The Scottish Government published its Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Deployment Plan on 13 January. This plan states that all healthcare workers, regardless of their sector are to be vaccinated in priority group 2.

The College of Podiatry discussed this issue with Carolyn McDonald (Chief Allied Health Professions Officer (CAHPO) for Scotland) on 14 January, who has confirmed that podiatrists working in both the NHS and independent practice come under this definition. As CAHPO, she recognises the importance of ensuring there is equity between colleagues working in the NHS and independent practice when it comes to accessing the vaccine. For full details on the steps that the College has taken for all podiatrists in Scotland please read the open letter to members based in Scotland.

The Scottish Government is now actively considering the practicalities around how healthcare workers within the independent sector can access the vaccine and how this will be communicated to colleagues working in private practice. See letter from the Dirctor for COVID-19 Vaccination Delivery, dated 21 January 2021: Independent health and social care frontline workers - vaccination access.

Update 28 January 2021

After extensive work by the College and other AHP unions in Scotland, the Scottish Government has now issued details of how those working in independent and third sector healthcare can access the COVID-19 vaccination rollout of JCVI Priority Group 2. These details supersede any previous access programmes that may have been operating in individual health boards.

The full statement from the Scottish Government, along with the access details, can be viewed here: Independent health and social care frontline workers vaccine access. These details are for frontline healthcare workers only and should not be shared with any person outside of these criteria. You will note from this letter that podiatrists, podiatry assistants and receptionists are all listed as eligible.

Thanks go to our Employment Relations Officer for Scotland and North West of England, Graham Pirie, and our Policy and Public Affairs Officer for Scotland, Ross Barrow, for all their work on securing this access for our Scottish members. 


19 January 2021

In Wales the vaccine is being rolled out by the Welsh health boards.

The College is working with health boards in Wales to secure access for all sectors. Some areas have now started accepting applications from the independent sector whilst in others the College is continuing to lobby for access. We will let members know when they have advised us how members can contact them.

NHS Wales states that:

"Health boards in Wales started administering vaccines to health and social care workers in centres across Wales on Tuesday 8 December. Initial deployment will be at vaccination centres which are mainly hospital settings.

Health and social care workers, care home residents and staff and the over-80s will be prioritised for the first round of vaccinations."

As you will be aware, this is an ever-changing landscape, and as soon as the College learns of any updates to this information, we will let our members know as soon as possible via our website and social media channels.

Update 29 January 2021

This week, the Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, confirmed that independently practising health and social care workers in Wales are to be vaccinated in JCVI group 2, at the same time as health and social care workers in the NHS. This includes all independently practising podiatrists. Login to for details of how to make contact with individual health boards can be found here: COVID-19 vaccinations for independent podiatrists in Wales.

Northern Ireland

The CAHPO, Jenny Keane wrote to the College on the 14 January to update us on arrangements for those in the independent sector.

"It has now been agreed that AHP independent practitioners can be prioritised to receive the vaccine.

There are currently two arms to the Northern Ireland vaccination programme, one that is delivered by HSC Trusts and one that is delivered by General Medical Practices.

AHP independent practitioners will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination via the Trust-based programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, commencing 18 January 2021.

A digital booking platform has been established for this purpose and they will be able to book an appointment at a time and location which is convenient to them. This can be at any Trust vaccination site with availability on their preferred date. They must not attempt to book a vaccination slot prior to the 18th of January 2021.

"In order to access the vaccination centre for your appointment, you will need to bring your Health and Care Number, photographic ID and hard copy proof of HCPC registration. This must match the detail provided above otherwise the individual will not be permitted entry."

Isle of Man

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is leading the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for the Isle of Man.

This vaccination programme began on Monday 4 January 2020, starting with the following eligible groups:

  • Those aged over 80
  • Residents in care homes and staff who work there
  • Health and care workers

Further information can be found in the independent report of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, 30 December 2020 which states:

"Prioritisation among health and social care workers

Frontline health and social care workers at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment, are considered of higher priority for vaccination than those at lower risk. This prioritisation should be taken into account during vaccine deployment."

Other resources

Further information on COVID-19 in the Isle of Man can be found on the Policies, Procedures, Codes, Guidance and Forms section of the Isle of Man website.

This includes a downloadable set of Frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 Workforce mobilisation and re-deployment guidelines.

International Members (Non UK)

Details about your country's vaccination deployment plan should be available from your local government website, healthcare provider or employer.