Your views

Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory for front-line healthcare staff?

Vaccine trials are showing positive results, and nursing staff will be given priority access

Trials are showing positive results, and nursing staff will be given priority access under the governments vaccination programme

With availability of a COVID-19 vaccine anticipated within weeks, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said that health and social care staff will be among the first to receive it.

Nursing Standard readers have their say.

Liz Charalambous is a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham

@lizcharalambou

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested healthcare staff to the limit, and a safe and effective vaccine is eagerly anticipated so we can move forward as a society. Despite concerns over new vaccines and the myths that surround childhood vaccinations, I anticipate that an

Trials are showing positive results, and nursing staff will be given priority access under the government’s vaccination programme

PIcture: PA

With availability of a COVID-19 vaccine anticipated within weeks, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said that health and social care staff will be among the first to receive it.

Nursing Standard readers have their say.


Liz Charalambous is a teaching associate at the University of Nottingham

@lizcharalambou

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested healthcare staff to the limit, and a safe and effective vaccine is eagerly anticipated so we can move forward as a society. Despite concerns over new vaccines and the myths that surround childhood vaccinations, I anticipate that an intelligent and well prepared public health message, if delivered with a robust and sensitive leadership strategy at local and national level, will pave the way for the majority of healthcare staff agreeing to have the vaccine without the need for it to be mandatory.


Drew Payne is a community nurse in London

@drew_london

Although mandatory vaccination is a step too far, as it demands control over people’s bodies, healthcare staff should have a legitimate reason if they choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We need a culture change to where being vaccinated is seen as positive and negative opinions are challenged. Vaccination is one of the few ways we have to control the pandemic, and it will be rigorously regulated before it ever reaches us. Like personal protective equipment, the COVID-19 vaccine will protect us and our patients, so shouldn’t we be demanding it in the same way?


Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

I am excited by the announcement of a vaccine that uses mRNA – a single-stranded RNA molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene – and it is wonderful that results so far indicate a more than 90% success rate. However, the sample size was small, and while some may suggest staff shouldn’t be allowed to work unless they have the vaccine, some may choose not to work if they would be forced to have it. We need the staff, we need the research, and we need the time to come to our own conclusions. It is too soon to decide what is best for others.


Grant Byrne is a fourth-year nursing student in Edinburgh

@GGByrne

Thousands of people across the UK have died because of COVID-19, with many of our healthcare colleagues among them. This vaccine offers hope for a return to normal life as early as next year. As such, I suspect many staff will jump at the chance to be vaccinated, which would negate the need to make it compulsory. Nurses being vaccinated could demonstrate confidence in the safety of the vaccine, and help smooth the way for vaccination programmes targeting the wider population.


Readers’ panel members give their views in a personal capacity only

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