First-aid trained crew from easyJet, working out of bases including Liverpool, are being fast-tracked by the NHS to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Tony McDonough reports
Cabin crew from easyJet bases, including Liverpool, are being fast-tracked to help deliver the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.
In November, the airline wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson offering to support the vaccination drive. Usually, easyJet operates more than 30 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport but at the moment that schedule has been reduced significantly.
Consequently, many easyJet cabin crew at bases including Liverpool, London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast remain furloughed.
Some 3,000 crew are already first aid trained and security cleared and possess a skill set to support the NHS COVID vaccination effort. Those who apply will be fast-tracked to become trained vaccinators at NHS vaccination centres across the country. They will undergo online training and onsite immunisation training to become fully-qualified in administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last year easyJet worked with the NHS on recruiting its first aid trained cabin crew volunteers to directly support clinical services in NHS Nightingale hospitals and airline staff to volunteer as NHS responders.
Cabin crew and pilots have also been volunteering to support the NHS through Project Wingman to provide wellbeing support to frontline clinical staff battling the COVID-19 pandemic in 85 hospitals across the country. The project’s co-founder, recent easyJet Captain Emma Henderson, has been awarded an MBE for her leadership of the charity.
One crew member who has already volunteered is Katy Bryant, who has worked for easyJet since 2005. She said: “Like everyone, I’m 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.
Chief executive of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, added: “We are incredibly proud that once again our pilots and crew can help to support the NHS and that we can play our part for the nation at this time – and 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. We are pleased and proud to be able to play our part and stand by ready to support wherever else we can.”