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16th Jun 2021

Covid jabs to be made mandatory for England care home staff

Kieran Galpin

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Ministers are to announce plans that would make it mandatory for all care-home staff to get the vaccine; they are also thinking of extending this law to all NHS staff.

Such policies have already drawn criticism from those within the industry, but the UK could also face legal action under human rights law.

The Guardian reports that this compulsory measure will be implemented across the UK’s 1.5m social care workers. Despite institutions warning that this could result in mass resignations, it is believed that the staff will have 16 weeks to get vaccinated, or they will be fired.

A further 1.38m people employed by the NHS are also thought to be included in this new policy. The British medical association, which represent healthcare professionals in the UK, said despite wanting NHS staff to get vaccinated, “compulsion is a blunt instrument that carries its own risks”.

“While some healthcare workers are already required to be immunised against certain conditions to work in certain areas, any specific proposal for the compulsory requirement for all staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 would raise new ethical and legal implications.”

An NHS executive had the following to say, touching on the root of the staff’s displeasure:

“If you are going to go down this route of mandation for NHS staff, you will get into a direct confrontation with a group of staff who you’re forcing to do this at a time when you’re denying them a decent pay rise but also saying how much you love them.

“The government hasn’t thought through the consequences of this. Hospital trusts could end up having to suspend or even dismiss members of staff who continue to refuse to be vaccinated against Covid in defiance of a policy requiring them to get jabbed.”

The latest figures from the NHS show that 82 per cent of staff have had both vaccines, while 89 per cent have had their first. Despite these facts, the government is still pushing towards bringing the ahead compulsory covid vaccinations. For social care workers, the statistics are lower, with 69 per cent having received both doses while 83 per cent have had their first.

This new policy will undoubtedly draw immense criticism from all corners of the UK. Most people are unified in the belief that everyone, if possible, should get the vaccine, but the issue arises when free will is taken away.