Sajid Javid hints 100,000 unvaccinated NHS staff could be FIRED as he admits he is ‘leaning towards’ making Covid jabs compulsory for all medics
- Health Secretary said ‘no jab, no job’ would boost uptake and protect patients
- Some seven per cent of NHS staff are still yet to get vaccinated against Covid
- Care home workers are already required to get at least two doses of the jab
NHS staff could be required to get vaccinated against Covid, the Health Secretary warned today.
Sajid Javid admitted he was ‘leaning towards’ the ‘no jab, no job’ policy for health workers in a round of interviews this morning, with 100,000 still yet to be jabbed.
But he insisted no final decision had been made, although vaccines are already required for care home workers.
Mr Javid said leaving staff unvaccinated meant there was an ‘issue about patient safety’, which is why he favoured compulsory jabs.
All care home staff are already required to be fully vaccinated against the virus by November 11.
But many care homes have warned the policy could spark chaos, with homes set to be forced either to close or break the law to stick to the policy.
Sajid Javid (pictured today) said he was ‘leaning towards’ making vaccines compulsory for NHS staff
When asked about making jabs compulsory for NHS staff, Mr Javid told Sky News: ‘I’m leaning towards doing it.
‘There’s around 100,000 that are not (vaccinated in the NHS) at this point but what we saw with the care sector is that when we announced the policy… then we saw many more people come forward and do the right thing and get vaccinated.
‘That’s what I hope, if we can do the same thing with the NHS, we will see.’
He added: ‘If they haven’t got vaccinated by now then there is an issue about patient safety and that’s something the Government will take very seriously.’
Mr Javid declined to say when the move would come in to force, saying ‘it will take some time to get it through Parliament’ and he would then want to give people time to come forward to get their jab.
But he added: ‘I don’t want to put a timeframe on it but it wouldn’t be months and months.’
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said a final decision on making vaccination compulsory for all NHS staff had not been taken yet ‘but it is something that I’m heading towards’.
He told Times Radio: ‘We’ve been very clear and open about this, working with our friends in the NHS, and the reason for this is if you’re working in the NHS, that fantastic work you’re doing every day, you yourself are more susceptible to this virus because you’re just much more likely to come into contact with it.
‘But also the people that you’re looking after are more vulnerable and that’s why they’re in hospital, they’ve got health needs, and this is about protecting them and protecting yourself.’
NHS leaders have a ‘mixed’ view on compulsory vaccines for NHS workers, Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said.
She told Times Radio: ‘We’ve spoken to our members about this, and it’s a bit of a mixed picture because most of them agree that in some ways, mandating the vaccine could be quite helpful to make sure that more people get the vaccine.
‘But on the other hand, if some people decide they don’t want the vaccine that could lead to staff recruitment and retention problems and we’re going into this incredibly challenging winter.
‘If we start to lose staff during this time that could be incredibly challenging, so it’s a it’s a real balance.’