Get the Jab or Get a New Job, UK Health Secretary Tells Care Home Staff

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid visits Birmingham Central Bus Garage on February 11, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The 2019 Q4 GDP Statistics Released Today showed the British economy flatlined at overall 0% growth in the last quarter of 2019, although December alone showed 0.3% …
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Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told unvaccinated care home staff to “get vaccinated” or “go and get another job” as the deadline for care staff to be double vaccinated against the Chinese coronavirus approaches.

British MPs in the House of Commons voted in July to make vaccination a condition of employment for staff in Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care homes. Staff must have had their first shot by September 16th to have their second by November 11th, in order to fulfil the legal requirement. The government had estimated during the summer that as many as 40,000 carers could be unvaccinated by the time the law comes into force.

Chairman of the National Care Association Nadra Ahmed said on Saturday that 86 per cent of care home staff are now vaccinated, but has called for the government to put a pause on the November 11th deadline, warning that some care homes will not be able to cope if staff are forced to leave because of the legal mandate.

When the Today programme’s Justin Webb asked Sajid Javid whether he would consider that pause, the health secretary said: “No. I won’t.”

Mr Sajid said that he accepted there was a “considerable amount of pressure on the workforce” with regards to staffing shortages, but claimed that that could be alleviated by the government’s recent announcement for more investment, raised through tax increases, in the NHS and for care reforms.

But he continued that he did not “accept” the suggestion there be a pause on the vaccine mandate, continuing to tell BBC Radio 4: “If you want to work in a care home, you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our country. If you can’t be bothered to go and get vaccinated, then get out and go and get another job.”

“If you want to look after them, if you want to cook for them, if you want to feed them, if you want to put them to bed, then you should get vaccinated. If you are not going to get vaccinated then why are you working in care?” Mr Javid said.

Continuing: “I take seriously the risk of Covid to the people that live in care homes. If you think about your elderly relatives you might have, your loved ones in care homes, and the idea that someone wants to look after them and they don’t want to take a perfectly safe and effective vaccine that has been approved by our regulators, been used all over the world, because somehow they have got some objection to this vaccine, then really, honestly, they shouldn’t be in our care homes.

“They should go and get another job. I am very clear on that.”

In September, the government formally opened the public consultation for making the same mandate apply to the National Health Service, the UK’s largest employer and one of the world’s largest employers with 1.5 million staff.

Director of the privacy and civil liberties pressure group Big Brother Watch Silkie Carlo had warned in July that the government enforcing vaccination on care home staff could impel other employers to make the same demands of their staff, predicting that “millions of other workers” could “now face vaccination demands at work due to the expanse of this law”.

Late last month, the government updated its ‘Plan B’ Winter coronavirus strategy that in the event of a rise in coronavirus cases, could see the introduction of a domestic vaccine passport, which would be required for entry to nightclubs and some other large entertainment settings such as music festivals and sports arenas.

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