Covid-19 Vaccination to be a Condition of Deployment 

Covid-19 vaccination

A government press release issued yesterday has announced that the Covid-19 vaccination is to be a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers.

Under new measures announced by the Health and Social Care Secretary, health and social care providers in England are required to ensure workers are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they are exempt.

The requirements will come into force in the spring, subject to the passage of the regulations through Parliament. There will be a 12-week grace period between the regulations being made and coming into force to allow those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to have both doses. Subject to Parliamentary approval, enforcement will begin from the 1st of April.

Covid-19 vaccination evidence

All health and social care workers—including volunteers—who have face-to-face contact with service users, will need to provide Covid-19 vaccination evidence in order to be deployed. This includes doctors, nurses, dentists, domiciliary care workers and ancillary staff. The ancillary staff covers porters, cleaners or receptionists who potentially have social contact with patients.

This will apply across the Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated health and social care sector too. Although almost 90 per cent of NHS staff are already double jabbed, the double jab deadline for care home workers is Thursday 11th November.

These measures aim to ensure protection for both patients and staff against infection. Particularly as elderly people, those with disabilities and the vulnerable face a higher risk from contracting Covid-19. Moreover, these people are more likely to frequently use health and care services.

The latest data shows that over 103,000 NHS trust workers and 105,000 domiciliary care workers haven’t yet been fully vaccinated. The government is now urging them to take up the offer to keep themselves (and those they care for) safe.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“Vaccines save lives and patient safety is paramount. Many of the people being treated in hospitals or cared for at home are the most vulnerable to Covid-19. We have a responsibility to give patients and staff the best possible protection. We have consulted closely with the sector and will introduce new regulations to ensure people working in healthcare are vaccinated from next spring.”

Mr Javid went on to say:

“I want to thank everyone who works in health and social care for the amazing work they do. If you haven’t come forward for your jab yet, please do so.”

Surrounding the Covid-19 vaccination condition of deployment, Unison head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Mandatory jabs in social care have prompted an unprecedented staffing crisis. The government should be careful not to make the same mistake twice. It should also consider practical alternatives like daily testing.”

While these measures will not apply to Covid-19 boosters or the flu vaccine at this time, the government will keep this under review. If necessary, they will bring forward amendments to the regulations.

Care Homes Still Waiting for Booster Vaccination Rollout

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