Covid-19: Vaccines to be compulsory for frontline NHS staff in England – BBC News

Sajid Javid told MPs that he expected to set a deadline for the beginning of April to give 103,000 unvaccinated workers time to get both jabs.

He said the move would help protect patients and the NHS as a whole.

But concerns have been raised that it could lead some workers to leave, adding to healthcare staffing issues.

More than 93% of NHS frontline staff have had their first dose and 90% are fully vaccinated, Javid said. That is higher than the general working-age population, where about 81% have had both doses.

The government’s decision follows a consultation which considered whether both the Covid and flu jabs should be compulsory.

Mr Javid said the flu vaccine would not be made mandatory.

Those with a medical reason not to have the Covid jab would be exempt, he said, as would those who do not have face-to-face contact with patients.

In a Commons statement, Mr Javid said compulsory vaccination would “protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS and, of course, protect the NHS itself”.

He said the requirement would be enforced 12 weeks after parliamentary approval – likely to be from April.

No unvaccinated worker should be “scapegoated or shamed”, said Mr Javid, and should instead be supported to make “a positive choice”.

Thursday is the deadline for care home workers in England to get vaccinated.

Source: Covid-19: Vaccines to be compulsory for frontline NHS staff in England – BBC News