UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced Tuesday that frontline public health workers must be vaccinated against the coronavirus as a prerequisite for continuing their work.
“You have a unique responsibility,” said Minister Javid, who defended the measure to “avoid foreseeable damage”. Only people who do not work for the public are excluded from this new regulation, which is to come into force on April 1 of next year.
The UK Government’s measure applies to the National Health Service (NHS, for its acronym in English) of England, as well as another set of social services regulated by the Commission for Quality of Care (CQC), such as senior centers where their workers must have received the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine before Thursday.
“We have to avoid foreseeable harm, protect NHS patients, workers and of course the national health system itself,” said Minister Javid during a session in the UK Parliament, where he reported that 90 percent of health workers had already been vaccinated.
On the flip side are the more than 103,000 unvaccinated workers in the National Health Service of England, as well as another 105,000 home care workers. “It’s hard to say how many of them will accept a vaccination,” admitted Javid in statements collected by the Sky News chain.
However, Javid wanted to make it clear that none of the NHS staff who had not yet been vaccinated should be “scapegoated” or “shown or embarrassed” as “that would be totally unacceptable”.
“It’s about helping them to make a positive decision to protect the weakest, to protect their colleagues and of course to protect themselves,” said the minister, who trusts that the measure will reduce the number of unvaccinated people as she did in her day, was forced to work in senior centers.
“If we look at what has happened to welfare and old people’s homes, there has been a marked drop since this measure was announced, and I really think we can count on it,” said Javid, who made that drop between The Numbers of Unimmunized in these centers was between 88,000 and 32,000 early last month.