Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations Strike Again

29th November 2021

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations Strike Again

…This time affecting NHS workers.

The month of November has been significant for vaccination developments. From 11th November 2021, COVID-19 vaccinations became mandatory for most CQC-registered care home staff; unless they are medically exempt or under the age of 18. The Government also published its consultation response to its proposal to extend the same vaccination requirements to front-line NHS staff. The consultation period took place from 9th September to 22nd October 2021 and the responses approved the proposal. This means that, subject to Parliamentary approval, implementing regulations will come into force from 1st April 2022, after a 12-week grace period. This legal change is driven by the aim to protect vulnerable patients and individuals.

Implementation plans will become clearer as time goes on and there will no doubt be challenges from unvaccinated NHS workers and individuals affected. However, given that currently the majority of NHS staff are already vaccinated (according to Government statistics, over 92.8% have received their first dose and 89.9% have received both), it’s not yet clear what the level of impact the change will have. Furthermore, the judicial review application made by 2 care workers in September in respect of the legislation mandating vaccination of CQC-registered care home workers has been rejected. This may make a similar challenge from NHS staff less attractive. We understand that the care workers have decided not to appeal the decision.

Only time will tell how far reaching the wider repercussions will be of these legislative changes. What’s clear however is that there are going to be some very difficult decisions to be made by the NHS and care home employers alike.

If you are an employer that needs advice on implementing the legal requirements in your workplace, or a care or NHS worker concerned about how these changes will affect you personally, then please contact Marie Allen on 01473 298133 or by email at [email protected]

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