Covid vaccines to be made compulsory for NHS staff
- Credit: PA
The government is expected to announce that all NHS frontline staff in England will be required to be double-jabbed by spring 2022.
NHS staff will have to be fully vaccinated in order to work in their roles, providing enough time to receive both doses.
NHS officials said they expected the move to happen, which will affect thousands of unvaccinated staff.
Out of 1.4 million healthcare workers in England, about 110,000 are still yet to get their first Covid jab.
Care home workers have already been told they have to be fully vaccinated by Thursday this week.
Health unions are not keen on mandatory vaccinations and there are fears this could cause the loss of some key workers at a time when staffing is already a challenge.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, has said that if approached correctly, mandatory vaccines could result in a take-up of jabs.
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Mr Hopson said: "If we get it right, actually, it could be quite a useful spur in some senses to drive the take-up up, but the bit that we just need to be careful of, as I said, is avoiding scapegoating people."
“The other risk we need to manage is the fact that there is also a patient safety and a quality of care risk if the NHS does end up as a result of this losing significant numbers of staff.
“And that’s why we’ve said very clearly that we want the Government to work very closely with us to maximise the number of people who take up the vaccination voluntarily before we hit the deadline, to think very carefully about the deadline because clearly we’re about to enter what we think is going to be the most difficult winter for the NHS on record.”
Deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab refused to comment on the leaked report but said: "I think it's right to say that we've been very mindful of encouraging greater take-up of the vaccination and boosters. Particularly in vulnerable settings like care homes and in the NHS."