Compulsory COVID-19 vaccination: government tells NHS staff they must be double-jabbed

Nurses and other health service workers given deadline to be fully vaccinated 
Picture shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Nurses and other staff are given deadline to get fully vaccinated, and Sajid Javid tells parliament why

Picture shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine
Picture: iStock

Nurses and other front-line staff in England’s NHS must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by April next year, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid confirmed.

Mr Javid said only staff who are medically exempt and those who do not have face-to-face patient contact will not be compelled to get the jabs.

Public and workforce protection outweighs fears over staff exodus

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Javid said he had considered responses to the government’s consultation on mandatory vaccination, including concerns it could prompt resignations, adding ‘the scales clearly tip to one side’.

He said the spring deadline would allow for workforce planning and give NHS staff time to make ‘the positive choice’.

‘We must avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS and, of course, protect the NHS itself,’ he said.

Mr Javid said there are currently 100,000 NHS staff who have not been fully vaccinated.

Employers should strive to understand staff’s concerns

Responding to the announcement, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said NHS employers should use the next five months to continue engaging with nurses who have not had the jab.

‘This is vital to understanding their concerns, supporting them to understand the importance of the vaccine and to make that important choice,’ she said.

Staff working in care homes in England already have a deadline of 11 November to get both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Mr Javid said the number of care home staff who are not fully vaccinated had fallen from 88,000 to 32,000 since the start of October.

What is the deadline for being fully vaccinated ?

All patient-facing staff in the NHS will be required to have two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by 1 April, 2022.

What is the requirement for other healthcare workers?

Staff working in care homes in England have been given a deadline of 11 November to have had two coronavirus jabs.

On 9 November, Northern Ireland health minister Robin Swann announced a public consultation on proposals for mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccination for new health and social care workers in the region.

Ministers in Scotland and Wales have not proposed mandatory vaccination for health or care staff.

What about flu jabs?

The Westminster government will not be introducing compulsory vaccination against flu but will keep it ‘under review’, Mr Javid said.

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