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Compulsory COVID jabs for NHS staff pushed back to April 2022

Mandatory vaccination will now be introduced for NHS staff in spring 2022 after health leaders recommended delay to avoid further staffing issues over winter

Mandatory vaccination will now be introduced for NHS staff in spring 2022 after health leaders recommended delay to avoid further staffing issues over winter

The government is set to announce mandatory vaccines for nurses and other front-line NHS staff in England, according to reports.

Delay to rule change will avoid extra staffing issues as NHS faces ‘difficult winter’

It is understood that ministers intend to announce that compulsory vaccines will be introduced from April.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said last week that he is ‘leaning towards’ making the jabs compulsory as there are about 100,000 NHS workers not fully vaccinated.

But

Mandatory vaccination will now be introduced for NHS staff in spring 2022 after health leaders recommended delay to avoid further staffing issues over winter

Sajid Javid will announce the plans for mandatory vaccination this week
Sajid Javid will announce the plans for mandatory vaccination this week Picture: Alamy

The government is set to announce mandatory vaccines for nurses and other front-line NHS staff in England, according to reports.

Delay to rule change will avoid extra staffing issues as NHS faces ‘difficult winter’

It is understood that ministers intend to announce that compulsory vaccines will be introduced from April.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said last week that he is ‘leaning towards’ making the jabs compulsory as there are about 100,000 NHS workers not fully vaccinated.

But he appears to have heeded warnings from health leaders to postpone the move until spring as the NHS faces a difficult winter.

The Guardian reports that an announcement could be made as soon as Thursday, but the Department of Health and Social Care said no final decision had been made.

On Monday, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson called for any decision to be delayed past winter and to allow for managers to have ‘supportive’ conversations with vaccine-hesitant staff.

‘If we lose very large numbers of unvaccinated staff, particularly over the winter period, then that also constitutes a risk to patient safety and quality of care,’ Mr Hopson told BBC Breakfast on Monday.

‘We know that we’ve got a very, very difficult winter coming up and we know the NHS is going to be absolutely at full stretch. So it makes sense to set the deadline once that winter period has passed.’

Unions have called for caution on plans to make COVID jabs compulsory

Plans for mandatory jabs for staff who work or volunteer in care homes in England were announced in June, with an 11 November deadline for staff to have had both doses of vaccine, unless medically exempt.

The government then launched a consultation in September seeking views on plans for staff in health and care settings in England to be required to have COVID-19 and flu vaccines to protect vulnerable people.

Unions, including the RCN, have warned that the policy could alienate staff and exacerbate workforce shortages.


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