The Health Secretary has suggested that controversial plans to force all staff in England to get jabbed are ‘under review’.
said that because is less severe, unvaccinated employees pose less of a threat to patients than when the policy was introduced while the Delta variant was dominant last year.
But he insisted yesterday during an appearance before MPs on the Commons health committee that it was still their ‘professional duty’ to get jabbed.
Mr Javid said 77,000 NHS staffers have not yet had the vaccine, about 5 per cent of the workforce, meaning they could be sacked if they are not vaccinated before the April deadline.
But he noted that the risk of getting severely ill with the virus has reduced since the decision to make jabs mandatory was made.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has suggested that controversial plans to force all NHS staff in England to get jabbed are ‘under review’
‘The dominant variant at the time was Delta.The dominant variant now – in fact, almost all cases are Omicron,’ Mr Javid said. ‘I think it is right in light of Omicron that we reflect on all this and keep all Covid policies properly sort of under review.’
There are fears mandatory jabs will exacerbate workforce shortages in the NHS.Hospitals have been told to prepare dismissal proceedings for unvaccinated staff from February 4, the day after workers would need to have a first jab to meet the deadline.
Mr Javid said ‘representations’ had been made to him about Omicron being ‘very different’ to Delta, in that while the former is more transmissible it is ‘intrinsically less severe’.
He said while some people had urged him to add boosters to the mandatory requirement, others have called for it to be scrapped altogether.
NHS workers demonstrated in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, holding signs declaring ‘medical apartheid is wrong’