Today the government launched a six-week consultation into making Covid vaccination compulsory for frontline health workers in England. Responding to the launch, UNISON regional secretary Clare Williams said:
“The key to convincing hesitant staff is persuasion, not force. Pushing NHS staff to get vaccinated will create resentment, destroy already fragile morale and reduce take-up. Of course, everyone who can should be jabbed, but as with care, compulsion is not the way.
“Mandatory vaccinations in care have heralded an exodus of staff. The government is in danger of making the same mistake twice. With waiting lists growing, the NHS can ill-afford to lose any more staff.
“Vaccination levels are extremely high among health workers. It makes no sense to risk worsening staff shortages with the pandemic far from over and a treatment backlog that’ll take years to shift.”