Matt Hancock won’t rule out compulsory covid vaccinations

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock declined to say whether vaccines will be made compulsory for care home staff, as he said 80% of them have now received a jab.

It comes after the the Government confirmed it was looking into the option last month.

This morning, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m very pleased to say that the uptake of the vaccine in care home workers is now 80%, four in five. There’s still more work to do but I’m very grateful to the care home workers who’ve been coming forward.”

Pressed on whether jabs could be made compulsory for care workers, he said: “We haven’t made an announcement on that, we haven’t said anything about that. But the uptake has been going up and that’s very important.”

Last month, England’s chief medical officer has said care home workers have a “professional responsibility” to get a Covid-19 vaccine after he was questioned about the lower uptake of jabs among staff in some parts of the country.

And the chief executive of independent care provider Barchester Healthcare has said he thinks coronavirus vaccinations should be compulsory for NHS and care home staff.

Since January, Barchester Healthcare has enforced a policy that no new member of staff will be recruited unless they have had the vaccination or are prepared to get one, with a similar policy imposed on new residents.

Care groups and unions have said they do not think vaccinations should become mandatory for care home staff after the Government confirmed it is looking into the option.

Care home workers in England could be legally required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 under plans being considered by the Government, according to the Health Secretary last month.

Matt Hancock said that “no final decision” has been taken amid a review into vaccination passports, which is considering a range of issues.



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