A government minister suggested that people who refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus should not work in social assistance.
Speaking on Sky News, Care Minister Helen Whately said that nursing homes had been particularly affected by Covid, adding: “The reality is that one of the best ways that we can protect people who live in homes. of elders is making sure that the staff is vaccinated. “
When asked if he was concerned that vacancies in social care would increase by demanding that workers be punctured, he said: “The big question has to be … if you don’t want to get vaccinated, how can you continue? Do you have reason to continue, to take care of people who are really vulnerable from Covid? “
It came as healthcare personnel, patients and their families were encouraged to participate in a consultation launched Thursday on plans to require vaccination against Covid-19 and flu for front-line healthcare and care personnel.
The six-week consultation process will look at whether vaccine requirements should apply to health and social care workers in general, those in contact with patients, and people receiving care.
It would mean that only those who are fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt, could be deployed to provide health and care services.
The government previously said that all staff in registered nursing homes in England should be vaccinated against Covid-19 as of November 11, unless they are medically exempt.
Critics of mandatory vaccinations for care workers have claimed the policy would lead many to leave their jobs at a time when job openings are at a staggering 120,000.
The Social Care Working Group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has already reported that the overlap between sectors constitutes a strong scientific argument for similar approaches to vaccination.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the consultation would focus on the proposals, their scope, and any potential impacts that mandatory vaccines could have on staffing and safety, such as reducing of the absences due to illness of the personnel.
The process will also seek opinions on whether flu vaccines should be a requirement for health and care workers.
According to DHSC, around 92% of trusted NHS personnel have received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 88% of staff have received both doses.
However, the DHSC says that the new data shows that acceptance rates among NHS trusts can range from about 78% to 94% for both doses.
National influenza vaccination rates in the health service have increased from 14% in 2002 to 76% last year. But in some settings, the rates are as low as 53%.
The health secretary, Sajid Javid, urged all health and social staff to get vaccinated, regardless of the outcome of the consultation.
He said: “We will carefully consider the responses to the query but whatever happens, I urge the small minority of NHS staff who have not yet been prodded to consider getting vaccinated, for their own health and that of those around them.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism