Health and care sector workers in England who decline to be fully vaccinated could be moved to back-office roles, a UK government minister has suggested, as a consultation on plans to mandate COVID-19 and flu vaccinations was launched.
The six-week consultation process will take views on whether vaccine requirements should apply for health and wider social care workers – those in contact with patients and people receiving care.
It would mean only those who are fully vaccinated, unless medically exempt, could be deployed to deliver health and care services.
Speaking on Times Radio, Helen Whately, the minister for care, said the government was working with care homes and other settings to see if workers who refused the vaccine could be redeployed.
She said: “You can look at whether there are alternative ways somebody could be deployed, for instance, in a role that doesn’t involve frontline work, or doesn’t involve being physically in the same setting as the patient – whether it’s, for instance, working on 111, something like that."
But she suggested that people who refused to get vaccinated against coronavirus should not work in social care.
Speaking on Sky News, Whately said care homes had been hit particularly hard by Covid, and added: “The reality is that one of the best ways we can protect people living in care homes is through making sure that staff are vaccinated.”
Source: The Guardian, 9 September 2021