Last month, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced he was ‘leaning towards’ making COVID vaccines compulsory for NHS staff in the near future.
The vaccine has already been made mandatory for care workers with the deadline being Thursday 11th November. The aim of instating the mandate is to protect staff and patients, which the government hope will be received well like it did for carers when there was a surge in those coming forward to take the vaccine from within the sector.
There are between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers in England still unvaccinated according to Head of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson.
Nearly 70% of the UK have been fully vaccinated.
England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will all make their own decisions on whether they wish to make the vaccine mandatory within the health care system, so far England is the only country to do so.
There will be medical exemptions for the vaccine mandate as there was with care workers and anyone with a valid medical reason will not have to take the vaccine.
The deadline for NHS workers in England to get vaccinated is set for next spring allowing plenty of time for any unvaccinated staff to get both doses of the jab.
Deputy Prime minister Dominic Raab said: ‘If the consequence of not taking difficult decisions is that more people, particularly more people who are vulnerable either because they’re in hospital, or because they’re in a care home and elderly or with multiple conditions... I think that’s got to be the countervailing and overriding factor, we’ve got to do everything we can to protect those vulnerable.’