Dominic Raab stands by NHS compulsory jabs deadline which could see up to 80,000 unvaccinated workers lose their jobs after it comes into force in February as Boris Johnson considers six-month delay
- Boris Johnson is reportedly considering delaying bringing in mandatory jab rule
- PM is said to fear another revolt by backbencher Tories, who want rule scrapped
- Dominic Raab stood by deadline saying it is to ‘protect vulnerable in hospitals’
- It comes after hundreds took to streets across UK to voice their displeasure
Dominic Raab has stood by a compulsory jabs deadline for NHS staff which could see up to 80,000 unvaccinated workers lose their jobs after it comes into force in February as Boris Johnson mulls a a six-month delay.
Boris Johnson is said to be considering kicking the Covid vaccine deadline ‘down the road’ following nationwide protests over the requirement and demands by Tory backbenchers to drop the rule entirely.
However, the Deputy Prime Minister said the jab is needed to ‘protect the most vulnerable in our hospitals’ and avoid ‘putting patients at risk’.
Around 80,000 staff face the sack if they do not get vaccinated, with February 3 marking the last day they can book in for a jab.
The following day, those without jabs will face dismissal warnings and will be asked to work out their notice periods until March 31.
Mr Raab told the BBC: ‘The overwhelming majority have come forward.
‘I do think we continue to call for those who have not been vaccinated to come forward before the deadline.
‘But I think ultimately we have to make sure that we don’t have people putting patients at risk if they’re not vaccinated.’
He added that nine out of 10 NHS staff have come forward to receive their vaccine.
Mr Raab added: ‘We have the resilience because we’ve got nearly 5,000 more doctors, nearly 11,000 more nurses than we did in 2020. The resilience of the NHS is there.’
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab appeared on BBC Politics on Sunday morning and stood by the deadline
Protesters march along Regent’s Street holding ‘no vaccine mandates’ signs on Saturday
In London, dozens of health workers were seen throwing their scrubs at police officers outside Downing Street (pictured), while others dumped their uniforms on the ground by Trafalgar Square
NHS 100k dump their scrubs in Trafalgar Square in Central London during ‘March for Freedom’ protest against mandatory vaccines
Despite the threats to their career and several booster campaigns, more than 80,000 NHS staff – six per cent of the workforce – remain unvaccinated.
Many of them joined anti-vaxxers across the country on Saturday as they protested against the mandatory vaccine rules. In London, dozens of health workers were seen throwing their scrubs at police officers outside Downing Street, while others laid down their uniforms in Trafalgar Square.
Notorious anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn was among the crowds as they gathered outside BBC Broadcasting House, where one protestor donned a Squid Game mask and biohazard suit, complete with a blow-up syringe.
One Ambulance worker’s uniform was left hanging in Regent’s Park, with a message written on the back, reading: ‘Paramedic 9 years, clapping on Thursday, spat out on Monday.’
The so-called ‘freedom rallies’ were also held in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle, where protestors held up signs reading: ‘No vaccine mandate’ and ‘heros to zeros – from clapping to sacking’.
A woman holds a placard promoting NHS 100k, a group of anti-vaxx ambulance workers who ‘stand united in favour of freedom of choice, bodily autonomy and informed consent’. More than 150,000 people have died from Covid in Britain but the death rate plummeted after people started taking vaccines
A man smiles as he holds a flare and a drum during a march in London for NHS staff against vaccine mandates for workers in the organisation
Although the UK’s mortality rate has dropped massively as more people have been vaccinated, some anti-vaxx nurses maintain the life-saving jab is an ‘experimental drug’.
The demonstrations Saturday came as the Royal College of GPs called on the Government to extend the deadline to prevent mass staff shortages in the health service.
Chairman Martin Marshall said compulsory vaccination for health professionals was ‘not the right way forward’ and about ten per cent of staff at some hospitals and GP surgeries had not had the Covid jab.