Britain’s Health Secretary said on Monday that frontline health workers in Britain may no longer need to be vaccinated. He recommended a review of the mandate that employers and unions have warned would lead to crippling staff shortages.
“Weekly, we are carefully shifting the Covid response from one of rules and restrictions back to a piece of personal responsibility,” said health secretary, Sajid Javid, told Congress on Monday. “We’re able to do this thanks to the defenses we’ve built throughout this pandemic in vaccines and antivirals, in testing and surveillance.”
Initially, the mandate said National Health Service workers in England must be fully immunized by April 1, meaning they would have to receive the first two doses of the vaccine no later than Thursday to eligible for a second dose. Before the deadline.
Mr. Javid noted that the Omicron variant is currently dominant less severe disease than Deltawhich is the dominant version when the mission is announced in November. He says fiduciary is the right policy in the Delta wave, but Omicron may call for a different approach.
“Since Delta has been replaced, it is appropriate to revisit our policy on vaccination as a condition of implementation,” he said. He added: “While vaccination remains our best line of defense against Covid-19, I believe it is no longer appropriate to require vaccination as a condition of implementation through regulation. .
Nineteen of the service’s 20 staff members have “completed their professional duties” and are vaccinated, Mr Javid told Congress. He reported last week that around 77,000 NHS workers were still unvaccinated against the virus.
Employers and union heads have long warned that the April 1 deadline will put health care workers hesitant about vaccinations out of work, exacerbating staff shortages.
A report released by the congressional health committee earlier this month detailed a range of issues that have strained the health care system, including waiting lists for records, bandages and staff vacancies. The report calls on the government to immediately devote more resources to recruiting and training health workers to fill gaps.
Royal College of Nursing and Royal Girls’ School urged the government earlier this month delayed vaccination deadlines for frontline workers, saying the health care impact of ignoring unvaccinated workers could be “catastrophic”.
Pat Cullen, general secretary and chief executive officer of RCN, “Filling off valuable nursing staff during this crisis would be an act of self-destruction. said in a statement. “We are calling on the government to recognize this risk and delay a move that, in its own calculations, appears to be counterproductive.”
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Their fears are not unfounded. The effects of the vaccine requirement have been felt by the social care sector, where workers have been required to vaccinate since November, care providers said the regulation has exacerbated the shortage of employees that the industry faced during the pandemic.
As daily reports of new coronavirus cases have dropped, Britain has left its “foot of war” and has begun to regard the virus as endemic. Most of the remaining pandemic restrictions was removed last week. Starting February 11, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to undergo pre-entry coronavirus tests.
“Covid-19 is here to stay,” Mr Javid said on Monday. “While some countries are still stuck with a zero Covid strategy and others think about how they will safely open their doors, here we are showing the way forward and showing the world. What a successful life with Covid looks like.”
Maggie Astor contribution report.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/world/europe/vaccine-mandate-uk-nhs.html Javid Calls for UK Vaccination Credential Review for Healthcare Workers