UK Considers Mandatory COVID Vaccine for NHS Staff

UK Considers Mandatory COVID Vaccine for NHS Staff
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, wearing a protective face covering, visits the Community Vaccination Centre at St Paul's Church in Croydon, south London, on March 3, 2021. (Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Davies

The UK government is considering making it mandatory for National Health Service and health care workers to get vaccinated after a significant number have so far refused to take the COVID vaccine.

A recent report in the Daily Mail revealed that 200,000 NHS staff and 28 percent of nursing home workers have so far refused the vaccine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said that a range of new COVID prevention measures are being considered, from COVID passports for international travel to proof of negative testing to visit night clubs and even supermarkets.

“You are already seeing lots of business using the potential of rapid, on-the-day testing as well. I think that, in combination with vaccination, will probably be the route forward,” he told a Downing Street press conference.

Downing Street has now confirmed that extending “COVID status certification” to the NHS is now being included in a review led by senior government minister Michael Gove MP. The penalties for breaking this law are yet to be revealed, but could include denying employment to thousands of dedicated health workers.

The Guardian claims that government ministers are racially stereotyping black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups as the main resistance to the vaccine within the health service.
Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said last month that NHS staff had a “professional responsibility” to get the vaccine.
“Forced vaccinations are the wrong way to go, and send out a sinister and worrying message,” Christina McAnea, the general secretary of Unison, which represents about 100,000 NHS staff, said. “Encouragement and persuasion rather than threats and bullying are key to a successful program.”

However, on condition of anonymity, one senior nurse confided to The Epoch Times that she was pressured to take the vaccine, despite having already had the COVID virus, and now loses sleep over what future damage might be caused by the RNA injected into her. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines differ from traditional vaccines in that they’re based on messenger RNA that stimulates the body to produce a portion of the virus, thus generating an immune response, rather than injecting a weakened form of the virus.

The UK has been hailed for its speedy rollout of the vaccines, with 15 million doses administered in the first 10 weeks. Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC, “The vaccine is our route to freedom—we will beat this virus jab by jab.”

Legal Immunity

Less well known is that the UK government had to first grant legal indemnity to the vaccine manufacturers and the NHS staff administering the injections to prevent them from being sued. This allowed the drugs to be released just one week later, on Dec. 8, well before data on their clinical trials had been published.

Offering such immunity is a new development in the UK and, instead of holding the manufacturers responsible for damages, from Dec. 31, 2020, coronavirus inoculations are now covered by the Vaccine Damage Payment Act of 1979, allowing 120,000 pounds ($166,000) in compensation.

According to The Clinical Negligence Blog, a benefit for the government in offering no-fault compensation is to reduce the likelihood of adverse publicity that could spook the public and hamper the mass vaccination program. It also limits the payout to a fraction of what a civil court might award.

But the fact that drug companies require immunity from prosecution and that the public can claim state compensation raises questions about the safety of the vaccines.

A paper called “Help for Victims of Immunizations” published in the British Medical journal in 1973 said, “National immunization programmes not only aim to protect the individual but also to protect society. ... If individuals are asked to accept a risk partly for the benefit of society then it seems equitable that society should compensate the victims of occasional unlucky mishaps.”
Over the summer, Bill Gates was instrumental in influencing politicians in Britain and the EU to grant immunity to the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. He told the BBC he believed the severity of the situation necessitated taking big risks: “Governments will have to decide if they will indemnify the companies and really go out with this, when we just don’t have the time to do what we normally do.” Normally, vaccines go through a longer period of trial before being approved for use by the public.

So far, the British media haven’t questioned the safety of the COVID vaccine and have endorsed the government’s call for a mass vaccination program. There has been very little coverage about why the manufacturers were granted special immunity, as were the medical staff administering the vaccine, many of whom have been reluctant to take it themselves.

Andrew Davies is a UK-based video producer and writer. His award-winning video on underage sex abuse helped Barnardos children’s charity change UK law, while his documentary “Batons, Bows and Bruises: A History of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” ran for six years on the Sky Arts Channel.