The Government is due to publish a consultation today on mandatory Covid vaccination for NHS staff, with the Times reporting that workers will be legally obliged to get ‘jabbed’ in order to see patients – or face getting sacked.
The Government will publish a consultation today on plans to make vaccination a condition of employment for 1.2 million frontline NHS workers. Those who refuse will be barred from working with patients, meaning that they will need to be redeployed or could even lose their jobs.
Official figures show that 8% of NHS workers, equivalent to 116,717, have not received their first dose. In London 14% of NHS workers have not received their first jab.
The Government has already announced that from November 11th vaccination will be compulsory for all care workers, prompting warnings that tens of thousands of care workers could leave the profession.
The NHS confederation, which represents organisations in the health service, has argued that compulsory vaccination is unnecessary because NHS staff are “overwhelmingly doing the right thing”. However, Boris Johnson is said to be concerned about the role of unvaccinated staff in the spread of the virus in hospitals. …
Johnson spoke about people who were unvaccinated during a hospital visit yesterday. He told the BBC: “What I’m particularly concerned about is that in great hospitals like this, 75% of the people who are succumbing to Covid are not vaccinated. What I would really say to everybody is come on now. It’s a great thing to get a vaccination.”
A study by The BMJ in February found that inoculation rates among ethnic minority doctors and healthcare staff were significantly lower than among white staff. Health and care workers were in the first and second priority groups for vaccination.
A Government source said that the Prime Minister personally backed the plan for mandatory vaccination, adding: “It’s only right that those who are caring for people who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus should be vaccinated. This will save lives.”
The move could face legal challenges. Lawyers have said that employment contracts would have to be redrafted and that a blanket policy that all employees must be vaccinated would run the risk of being ruled unlawful discrimination.
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