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All nursing staff should have any vaccine deemed necessary

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Nurses are urged to get vaccinated Nurses are urged to get vaccinated

The Government is seeking views on plans for staff in health and care settings in England to be required to have COVID-19 and flu vaccines to protect vulnerable people.

A consultation will run for a period of 6 weeks, looking at whether requirements should apply for health and wider social care workers: those in contact with patients and people receiving care. It would mean only those who are fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt, could be deployed to deliver health and care services. The consultation will also seek views on whether flu vaccines should be a requirement for health and care workers.

‘All nursing staff should have any vaccine deemed necessary to help protect themselves, patients, colleagues, family members, and the wider community. This has always included the flu vaccine and more recently the COVID-19 vaccine. We do, however, have concerns around mandating vaccines and whether this will ultimately improve uptake,’ said Helen Donovan, Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead for Public Health.

Read more: Nurses’ response to COVID-19 pandemic hailed

‘The majority of all nursing staff accept vaccination, the Department of Health and Social Care’s own figures show 92% of NHS staff have had their first dose and 88% both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The focus should be on communicating the benefits of vaccination rather than making them mandatory. Involving staff in this consultation will help them to become further involved in the decision making and it is vital their views are properly taken into account over the next steps.’

The percentage of NHS trust staff who have received 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is around 92% nationally, with 88% of staff having received both doses. However, there is variation in uptake with new data due to be published today showing that between NHS trusts, uptake rates can vary from around 78% to 94% for both doses.

Read more: NHS pay deal 'a bitter blow' to nurses

National flu vaccination rates in the health service have increased from 14% in 2002 to 76% last year. In some settings, however, rates are as low as 53%.

‘Many patients being treated in hospitals and other clinical settings are most at risk of suffering serious consequences of COVID-19, and we must do what we can to protect them,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.

‘It’s so clear to see the impact vaccines have against respiratory viruses which can be fatal to the vulnerable, and that’s why we’re exploring mandatory vaccines for both COVID-19 and flu. We will consider the responses to the consultation carefully but, whatever happens, I urge the small minority of NHS staff who have not yet been jabbed to consider getting vaccinated – for their own health as well as those around them.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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I will not buy into mandated vaccines. I have been double jabbed to protect myself. If vaccines are imposed I will leave. If there were a wider health prevention strategy imposed on others e.g obesity/ diabetes/ CVD then ok but it is not!!
Posted by: ,
Absolutely NOT!!
What is happening to our right to choose what we put into our own bodies?
I will not be threatened or coerced.
I’m not an anti- vaxxer having given thousands of adults and children their proven safe vaccines in my long nursing career. I’m pro-choice !!
If we allow this , what will be next????
We are supposed to live in a free country not a dictatorship!
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