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‘No evidence’ to justify forced vaccination of front-line nurses

DHSC told to show benefits of mandatory jabs are proportionate to expected workforce costs
Picture shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine

DHSC told to show benefits of mandatory jabs are proportionate to expected workforce costs

The government has provided no evidence that the benefits of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for nurses and other NHS staff outweigh the expected workforce risks, a report by a House of Lords scrutiny committee said.

The chair of the committee, Lord Robin Hodgson, dismissed evidence provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as ‘superficial’.

Lord Hodgson, a former Conservative MP, said: ‘The DHSC has provided no single coherent statement to explain and justify its intended policy, and this undermines the ability of the House to undertake effective scrutiny of the proposed legislation.’

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DHSC told to show benefits of mandatory jabs are proportionate to expected workforce costs

Picture shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine
Picture: iStock

The government has provided no evidence that the benefits of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for nurses and other NHS staff outweigh the expected workforce risks, a report by a House of Lords scrutiny committee said.

The chair of the committee, Lord Robin Hodgson, dismissed evidence provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as ‘superficial’.

Lord Hodgson, a former Conservative MP, said: ‘The DHSC has provided no single coherent statement to explain and justify its intended policy, and this undermines the ability of the House to undertake effective scrutiny of the proposed legislation.’

The committee said in a report that the government’s plan to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for nurses and other front-line staff in England lacks clarity and could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Figures provided to the committee by the DHSC suggest that of the 208,000 NHS staff unvaccinated, some 126,000 (61%) could lose their jobs for declining the vaccine.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid had previously estimated there were 100,000 NHS staff who were unvaccinated.

The committee found that mandatory vaccinations could result in £270 million in extra recruitment costs and cause ‘major disruption’ to the NHS.

COVID-19 jabs mandatory for all front-line NHS staff in England from April 2022

It said strong evidence was needed to prove the benefits of mandatory jabs were proportionate to the expected workforce costs, but that the DHSC had not provided such evidence. It also criticised the DHSC for failing to provide practical detail on who is considered to have face-to-face patient contact.

The government announced on 9 November that COVID-19 jabs would be mandatory for all front-line NHS staff in England from April 2022. Only staff who are medically exempt or do not have face-to-face patient contact will not be compelled to get the jab.

Care home staff in England have been required to have both doses of the jab since 11 November. Following the deadline thousands of care home staff were left unable to go to work, prompting warnings of a staffing crisis that could result in care home closures.

The DHSC was contacted for comment.


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