Mandatory Covid vaccines should be a ‘last resort’ says CSP

Covid vaccines may become mandatory for NHS staff in England, which the CSP called unfair, discriminatory and unethical.

Vaccine injection image

The Guardian reported this morning that The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is poised to launch two separate consultation exercises into making Covid and flu jabs mandatory for NHS staff. 

Speaking on behalf of the government today, the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, singled out care home staff as priorities for vaccination.

CSP policy director Rob Yeldham said: ‘We continue to encourage all of our members to be vaccinated – they have been tested and shown to be both safe and effective and are proving to be an integral step in helping us to move out of this pandemic.

‘However, we do not agree with or support the announcement today that the vaccine may become compulsory for staff working in care homes with older people.

We are concerned that this may create a false sense of safety when proper infection control measures will continue to be needed.

'We believe that the vaccination should remain voluntary as we recognise that a person’s individual state of health, or personal beliefs, may mean that it is not appropriate for everyone to have it.

‘Making the vaccine mandatory in care homes could seriously impact on both NHS and independent physios and support workers who have chosen to or cannot have the vaccine. It is unfair, discriminatory and unethical and could ultimately lead to people having to leave their jobs. 

‘Imposing this should only be a last resort and we believe all other avenues should be explored fully before making this decision.

‘For example take up of the vaccination is already very high within the NHS so it is possible to ensure vaccinated staff care for those at risk without having to force all staff to be vaccinated.’

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