The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has slammed an announcement from the JCVI as an "utter betrayal" of police forces.
“My colleagues have been on the frontline since the first national lockdown last March, risking infection and even death to keep the public safe," Apter said.
The policing sector had never stated officers "should jump the queue but should be prioritised", he added.
— Police Federation (@PFEW_HQ) February 26, 2021
The national chair acknowledged most vulnerable and healthcare workers should receive the vaccine first, but officers could not reduce risks of spreading the virus, adding: "The calls to prioritise police have been ignored".
Policing was "unpredictable" with limited social distancing, where officers visited homes, hospitals and suspects when making arrests, he added.
“Many officers are reporting sick or self-isolating and our numbers are falling, sometimes dangerously low. We have also lost a number of colleagues to this virus too. Yet the Government continue to hide behind the science of the JCVI. What about a moral duty to my colleagues and their families," Apter said in his criticism of the UK government.
Allowing police officers to receive the vaccine would "protect them and their families" but also prevent the spread of the virus, he said.
“We are sick of warm words and no action by our political leaders who have demanded so much from policing during this pandemic. We will now explore every possible avenue open to us to protect our members from this deadly virus and this complacent government,” Apter concluded.