Regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for staff are set to be revoked, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has announced.
When vaccination as a condition of deployment was introduced, Delta was the dominant variant representing 99% of cases. Omicron has now replaced Delta as the dominant variant at 96% of cases.
‘I have written to professional regulators operating across health to ask them to urgently review current guidance to registrants on vaccinations, including COVID-19, to emphasise their professional responsibilities in this area said Mr Javid, speaking to parliament.
‘Second, I have asked the NHS to review its policies on the hiring of new staff and the deployment of existing staff, taking into account their vaccination status. And third, I’ve asked my officials to consult on updating my department’s code of practice, which applies to all CQC registered providers of all healthcare and social care in England.’
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Since the consultation on health and wider social care staff was announced in September more than 127,000 NHS staff came forward for a vaccine and 95% have now had at least one dose. After the consultation on vaccines as a condition of deployment was launched and regulations laid, uptake among care home staff rose from 77% to 94.5%, helping to build a wall of protection.
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‘One of the reasons we have some of the highest vaccine uptake rates in the world is because of the confidence in our vaccines that comes from this place – from all sides of this House,’ Mr Javid continued.
We may not agree on everything but when it comes to vaccination, together, we have put the national interest first. It is now in our national interest to embark on this new phase of the pandemic where we keep the British people safe while showing the world how we can successfully live with COVID-19.’