The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has accepted an offer from low-cost airline easyJet to fast track furloughed cabin crew into joining the country’s COVID-19 mass-vaccination drive. The airline said it had around 3,000 cabin crew who are First Aid trained and already security cleared who could help in what is set to be the biggest inoculation effort ever witnessed.
Katy Bryant, a member of cabin crew based at Luton airport said she had applied to become a fully trained vaccinator in order to help the UK’s struggling healthcare service which is battling a surge in new Coronavirus cases.
“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,” Katy, who has worked for easyJet since 2005, commented. “I am sure I will be joined by many of my fellow cabin crew at easyJet who will want to support the NHS in the vital roll-out of the vaccine across the country.”
Katy could see her application processed within days before being assigned to help at mass vaccination centres being set up across the UK. Cabin crew will be expected to complete an online course and in-person immunisation training in order to become fully-qualified in administering the life-saving jabs.
England is currently in the midst of its third national lockdown, while the rest of the UK is also facing strict Coronavirus restrictions and a ban on international travel. As a result, many airlines have slashed their schedules once more and many employees have been placed on extended periods of furlough.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive clearly see’s the benefit in offering up his employees to help out in the vaccination effort. Lundgren said on Wednesday that the rollout of the vaccine was now the best way to “enable normal life to return and is undoubtedly the key to unlocking travel again”.
On Tuesday, Virgin Atlantic said some of its pilots and cabin crew would also be fast-tracked into vaccinator roles and hoped some crew would be in position within days. British Airways is also believed to be encouraging some of its furloughed cabin crew to join the national effort.
The British government has set the ambitious goal of offering the vaccine to everyone over the age of 18 by the autumn. By mid-February, the NHS hopes to have offered the jab to the most vulnerable patients with plans to vaccinate more than two million people every single week.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.