Mandatory vaccine rules for health and social care staff in England scrapped from mid-March
Health and social care workers in England will no longer be required by law to be vaccinated against Covid-19, after a consultation saw the vast majority of people support the move.
Mandatory Covid-19 vaccines came into force for care home staff in November last year, and were due to be introduced for frontline NHS and wider social care staff in regulated settings from April 1.
Earlier this year, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that he believed it was “no longer proportionate” to require vaccination as a condition of deployment under law.
The Government has now confirmed the regulations making vaccination mandatory as a condition of deployment in health and social care will be revoked on March 15.
It said that when the original decision was taken to make it a legal requirement, Delta was the dominant variant of the virus but that has since been replaced by the less severe Omicron variant.
The Government said 90% of responses to a public consultation launched last month supported the removal of the legal requirement.
Mr Javid, in a written statement on Tuesday, said that it had been the “right policy when the original decision was taken, but that it is no longer proportionate in the light of the most recent clinical evidence regarding the current Omicron variant of Covid-19, which is intrinsically less severe than Delta, and the high rate of vaccination across the population”.
But he added that despite the change, he still considers it “a professional responsibility for health and care staff, and others who work in the health and social care sectors, to be vaccinated”.
He said 92% of the NHS workforce and 95% of care home staff have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 89% of home or domiciliary care staff have so far received at least one dose.
He said the Government is “committed to working with the health and social care sectors to engage with those who are yet to make the positive choice to be vaccinated”.
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