ECONOMY

Covid jabs could become mandatory for all frontline healthcare staff


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onsultation has begun on plans to mandate Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for frontline health and care staff, the Government has announced.

The six-week consultation process will take views on whether vaccine 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 Government previously said all staff in registered care homes in England must be vaccinated against Covid-19 from November 11, unless medically exempt.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) Social Care Working Group has already advised the overlap between the sectors makes a strong scientific case for there to be similar approaches to vaccination.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the consultation would focus on the proposals, their scope, and any potential impact mandating vaccines could have on staffing and safety such as reducing staff sickness absence.

The process will also seek views on whether flu vaccines should be a requirement for health and care workers.

Findings will then help inform decision-making around how the mandate could be implemented and who could be exempt.

Staff, healthcare providers, stakeholders, patients and their families are being urged to take part, with a final decision expected this winter.

According to the DHSC, around 92 per cent of NHS trust staff have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with 88 per cent of staff having received both doses.

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