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03rd Nov 2021

Covid jabs to be made compulsory for NHS staff in England

Charlie Herbert

NHS staff must have covid jab

There are fears the policy could lead to workers quitting though.

NHS staff in England will have to have received the Covid-19 jab from April next year in order to continue working for the health service.

There are warnings that this could exacerbate the issue of understaffing in the NHS though.

The Guardian reports that the 1.2 million full-time workers in the NHS will have to be vaccinated from April, with an announcement on the policy potentially due as soon as Thursday.

It is thought that Health Secretary Sajid Javid had wanted to introduce the policy this year, but was dissuaded from doing so by  NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation, who had warned that it could lead to many quitting the NHS before the busiest time of the year for the health service.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said on Monday that while most hospital bosses backed jabs being made compulsory for staff, more than 90 percent feared it could exacerbate the understaffing that the health service is already experiencing.

He pointed out the “potential loss of those staff who don’t take the vaccine when the service is already under huge pressure and carrying 93,000 vacancies.”

He added: “The government must recognise the risk of losing unvaccinated frontline staff and support efforts to maximise voluntary take-up first.”

More than 90 percent of NHS staff in England have already had one dose of vaccine, and just under 90 percent have had two doses. However in some trusts the number of staff who have been double-jabbed drops to as low as 78 percent, according to official figures from September.