UK government Health Secretary, Sajid Javid has announced mandatory Covid-19 vaccines for frontline NHS staff in England, with a deadline of April 1st 2022 for both doses. Speaking to the Commons on Tuesday morning, he said, “About 103,000 NHS workers in England remains unvaccinated”.
The government’s decision follows a consultation which began in September and considered whether both the Covid and flu jabs should be compulsory for frontline NHS and care workers. NHS said the flu vaccine would not be made mandatory.
He also said that there will be exemptions for the Covid vaccine requirement for medical reasons and for those who not have face-to-face contact with patients in their work.
According to the BBC report, Mr Javid made a statement to MPs at the Commons regarding their responses to the consultation showed there was support for compulsory vaccination but also concerns that some people might choose to leave their jobs over the policy.
He said after considering the responses as well as advice from his officials and NHS leaders, he concluded that all those working in the NHS and social care would have to be vaccinated. He also said, “We must avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS and, of course, protect the NHS itself”.
This mandate will become enforceable from April, with parliamentary approval.