Covid vaccinations are to become compulsory for staff at care homes in England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
A “sensible and reasonable step”
The BBC reported that Mr Hancock said it was a “sensible and reasonable step” and he would consult on extending it to the NHS. Workers will have 16 weeks to get both jabs from the time regulations are approved by Parliament. If they do not, they face being redeployed away from front-line care or potentially losing their job.
Mr Hancock told the House of Commons that the “vast majority of staff in care homes” were vaccinated, but not all of them.
“We know that the vaccine not only protects you but protects those around you,” he said, adding that compulsory vaccinations in care homes and hospitals would save lives.
There are no plans to extend mandatory vaccinations beyond health and care workers.
“Compulsory vaccinations could cause significant difficulties in a sector”
The BBC’s reported quoted care organisations that have warned that compulsory vaccinations saying that this could cause significant difficulties in a sector that already struggles to recruit enough people.
However, the Government has considerable concerns about low take-up of the vaccine in some areas, including London.
Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from getting the vaccine will not be affected.
Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said they have no plans to make Covid jabs mandatory for care home staff.