NHS and care workers could be forced to get Covid jabs as minister says staff who refuse may be barred from workplaces
NHS and care home workers could be forced to get Covid jabs to stay in their jobs, the Government has announced.
Ministers have launched a six-week consultation on making vaccines against both Coronavirus and the flu mandatory for health staff.
It comes as providers were told they may have to find roles away from the frontline for those employees who refuse.
Care minister Helen Whately questioned whether unvaccinated workers should be able to carry on in care roles.
She said: “The reality is that one of the best ways we can protect people living in care homes is through making sure that staff are vaccinated.
"If you don’t want to get vaccinated how can it be right to continue to look after people who are really vulnerable from Covid?”
Ms Whately defended the proposal for mandatory jabs as "the right thing to do" thought admitted it's a difficult question".
She added that 90% of health care workers have already been vaccinated.
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Those who refuse the shot will have to be found "alternative roles that don't involve being deployed working in the care home".
The minister added: "I've spoken to people receiving care and care homes and the families of those in care homes.
"They want their family members to be looked after by people who are doubly vaccinated.
"And they want their family members to get the most possible protection against this horrible disease."
During the six-week consultation ministers will hear from experts over the plans for compulsory jabs.
Under the proposals only those with valid medical reasons would be exempt from getting vaccinated.
Although nine in 10 health workers overall have been doubled jabbed, the rate does vary widely between areas.
In some NHS trusts as few as 78% of staff have received the shot.
The Government has announced plans to make vaccination compulsory for all employees at registered care homes from November 11.
Labour has voiced fears the policy will "drive away workers" from the already understaffed sector and leave some people without care.
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