UK Doctors Voice ‘Grave Concern’ Over Vaccine Mandate for Medics

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
October 27, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

Leading British doctors have expressed “grave concern” over the government’s threat to impose vaccine mandates on healthcare staff, saying any reduction of medical staff would have a devastating impact on hospitals already under immense strain.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Oct. 25 that he was “leaning towards” introducing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for staff of the National Health Service (NHS) to force the roughly 100,000 staff members who remain unvaccinated to get the jab.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said on Wednesday that the threat that staff could lose their jobs if they do not get a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine is “of grave concern.”

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said that “it’s important that every NHS worker is vaccinated, other than those who can’t for medical reasons.”

But he said there is “an important distinction between believing every healthcare worker should be vaccinated and advocating for mandatory vaccinations,” which “comes with its own legal, ethical, and practical implications that must be considered.”

Nagpaul said the BMA is concerned about the impact the vaccine mandate may have on the workforce.

“Even if a small number of staff were forced out of work because they are not vaccinated, this would have a big impact on a health service that’s already under immense pressure,” he said.

“With severe workforce shortages afflicting the NHS, and 93,000 unfilled vacancies, any reduction in healthcare workers could be devastating for patient services as we face a record backlog of care and winter pressures.”

Nagpaul urged the government to “explore options for those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons or may refuse, including, for example, remote working, possible redeployment, greater PPE protection, and more regular testing.”

Javid said on Tuesday that he wanted to replicate in the NHS what has already been done in the care sector, where a government-imposed vaccine mandate has forced “many more people” to get vaccinated.

The government announced in August that COVID-19 vaccinations will be compulsory for all staff working in care homes in England effective Nov. 11.

A survey published last month by the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) and the PA news agency suggests that half of the care homes will have to let go of some staff due to the new rule.

Almost a third of the managers (31 percent) said they had already lost staff over the vaccine mandate.

Lily Zhou and PA contributed to this report.