Frontline NHS staff in England will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid to protect patients, the health secretary has announced today.
A deadline is expected to be set for April to give unvaccinated staff time to get both doses, Sajid Javid told the House of Commons.
Over 100,000 NHS workers in England are unvaccinated, but Javid said no unvaccinated worker should be “scapegoated or shamed”, and should instead be supported to make “a positive choice”.
There will be exemptions for the vaccine requirement for medical reasons, and for those who do not have face-to-face contact with patients in their work, he added.
A deadline for care home workers in England to get vaccinated has been set to Thursday.
The announcement does not include Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, who make their own decisions on this matter.
The announcement sparks concerns from the Opposition about understaffing and an additional pressure on the NHS.