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Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm
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Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm
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Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm

Global Statistics

All countries
Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm
All countries
Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm
All countries
Updated on September 23, 2022 12:52 pm
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Is Covid Vaccine Mandatory For Healthcare Workers

Mandatory Vaccines For Health And Care Workers: Latest Regulations

Italy makes COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for health workers

The draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2021 would place a requirement on health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with service users, including volunteers, to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They would need to do so in order to be deployed, though there would be exemptions for certain staff. The policy has been met with criticism by several medical bodies.

On 9 November 2021, the Government laid the draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2021 before Parliament. It did so under the draft affirmative procedure, which means the regulations must be approved by both Houses before they can be brought into force.

The House of Lords is due to debate three motions relating to the draft regulations on 14 December 2021. The motions would differ in effect if approved.

Second, Baroness Noakes has tabled a motion to decline the draft regulations on the basis that the Government has not published a full impact assessment. If agreed, this would stop the draft regulations from becoming law.

What Can I Do If I Am Concerned About The Introduction Of Mandatory Vaccines

If you are concerned about the introduction of mandatory vaccines, you can get involved with Libertys policy campaigns to make sure that everyones rights are protected.

Additionally, you can write to your MP to express your opinion and urge them not to introduce such a scheme. Get help finding and contacting your MP here.

Supporting The Vaccination Programme

Each of the four nations of the UK has plans for vaccine delivery involving a mixture of delivery models, such as mobile teams to visit care homes, large sites at hospitals, and primary care-based delivery.

If youre interested in supporting the vaccination programme, you can find out more about the various roles you could apply for in your nation:

  • Northern Ireland – please contact your local NHS Trust

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The Mandate Is Necessary

Damian, 41, originally from Poland, lives in London and visits six people in their own homes as a carer.

I am fully vaccinated, and am in full support of compulsory vaccines, equally for NHS and social care workers, he says.

Damian feels its his duty as a care worker to protect patients and their families as much as possible, including being fully vaccinated. Nevertheless his understands that others are more nervous. My own partner is science sceptic, and Ive seen a lot of genuine fear about the vaccines in my sector and elsewhere. Im not judging anyone.

If a carer is struggling to take the vaccine, they should be motivated to gain knowledge of what the vaccines are, and given time to rethink. If theyre then still hesitant, they should leave the profession.

I know can cause significant staff shortages, but its necessary.

*Name has been changed

Q: How Should I Let Unvaccinated Staff Know Their Job Is At Risk

Bill would protect employees who don

A: First, send all of your employees a letter outlining:

  • The change in the law and when the rules kick in.
  • What it means for their employment.
  • When they need to get vaccinated to keep their job.

Then, arrange a one-to-one meeting with your employees ahead of the deadline to see whether theyve taken the vaccine.

To give your vaccine-hesitant staff enough time to reconsider, you should do this as soon as possible.

If your employee refuses to take the jab, consider whether you could move them to a non-frontline role. If you cant do this, you will need to dismiss them at the April deadline.

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Which Employees Are Subject To This Requirement

Only workers who have direct, face-to-face contact with service users are subject to this requirement. This will include front-line workers as well as non-clinical workers who are not directly involved in patient care but who nevertheless may have direct, face-to-face contact with patients e.g. receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners.

In addition, this will extend to GP practices, where care is delivered in a persons home and where regulated activities are delivered through agency workers, volunteers or trainees, or contracted to another provider.

Reported Announcement On Compulsory Flu And Covid Vaccinations For Healthcare Workers Delayed

The government in England today declined to confirm when they will bring in compulsory flu and Covid vaccinations for healthcare workers.

Speaking in the House of Commons today, vaccines minister Maggie Throup MP was asked about plans. She declined to comment saying that an announcement will be made in due course.

The government is widely reported to be planning to impose legislation requiring some or all healthcare workers to be vaccinated. The CSP, other health unions, other professional bodies and the HCPC have all opposed mandatory vaccination. A major concern is that reliance on vaccination creates a false sense of security. PPE and infection control measures remain essential to prevent Covid spread in health and care settings.

Whilst recommending vaccination the CSP doesnt support mandatory vaccination. We submitted our views to the government consultation explain our concerns about safety, trust in public health and equity. But it is clear that ministers have not listened to evidence or advice.

“They seem determined to make vaccinations compulsory in England. We would urge ministers to be clear about their plans but to delay changes until after the winter pressures. This would allow services to cope without losing staff now, and would give staff time to make changes.

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Q: What Are The Medical Exemptions For Non

A: Some workers will be unable to take the vaccine due to medical reasons. These can include:

  • Learning disabilities, autism, or a combination of impairments which mean vaccination cannot be provided through reasonable adjustments.
  • Severe allergies to all currently available vaccines.
  • People who had an adverse reaction to the first dose .

No exemption is available on race or religious grounds.

The Legal Status Of Mandates

Nurses protest mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers

The power of the government to mandate vaccination has long been recognized by the Supreme Court. In the landmark 1905 case of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Court upheld an ordinance in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that required all adult citizens to be vaccinated against smallpox in the wake of an epidemic. The court found that notwithstanding the Constitutions guarantee of liberty, every person may be subject to manifold restraints when needed for the public good. This broad ruling gives health care workers limited legal ground to object.

Moreover, most states recognize the doctrine of employment-at-will, under which employers can terminate a worker for any reason as long as a prohibited motivation, such as race or disability status, is not involved. In the absence of a proscribed rationale, vaccination can be used as a condition of continued employment.

There is an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine for collective bargaining agreements that limit an employers hiring discretion. In 2006, the Washington State Nurses Association sued Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, which sought to require nurses to receive seasonal flu vaccine. The union claimed that a collective bargaining agreement prohibited new workplace rules without its consent. An arbitrator upheld the unions right to veto the vaccine requirement, and the decision was affirmed in court. However, the hospital has recently reinstituted the mandate for all employees except unionized nurses.

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I Love My Job And Would Like To Continue

Sarah*, a long-term private care home worker from Bedford, is still refusing to get vaccinated.

Im going to get fired, I will be leaving my job. Im not an anti-vaxxer, I believe Covid is real. But I want more information before I put a vaccine into my body. I know several people who said they had menstrual problems after having it, and I dont want a medical procedure when we dont know the long-term effects.

This sentiment, she says, is shared by several of her co-workers. Theres other colleagues who will be leaving too. The residents are going to suffer. Im certainly not in this job for money, I love my job and would like to continue. But I will have to find a different career, I might be stacking shelves at Lidl.

She would consider having the jab in future, she says, but feels the mandate is not the right approach and she also has concerns about contradictory messaging during the pandemic.

Ive followed every single rule this government has put in place, I still wear my mask all the time while nobody else is wearing theirs because the government wont make it mandatory again, she says.

Communication has been very inconsistent about transmission, risks, vaccine efficacy and so on. I have no trust in this government, who are now making thousands of people unemployed.

Federal Judge Blocks Covid

The injunction comes just one week before the mandate was set to begin.

A federal judge in Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday blocking President Joe Biden’s national COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers, just one week before the mandate was to go into effect.

The injunction, issued by Judge Terry A. Doughty in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, comes after a federal court in Missouri issued a separate order on Monday temporarily blocking the administration’s vaccine mandate for health care workers in 10 states. The mandate requires workers in hospitals and nursing homes to get at least one shot by Dec. 6, and to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

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Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suspended the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, which would require those working for businesses employing 100 or more people to get fully vaccinated or tested each week by Jan. 4.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can read the ruling here:

Nationwide injunction again… by jonathan_skillings

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Weve Had A Significant Drop In Applications

Claire, 47, from Norfolk, worked as a carer for 20 years, and is now a manager of a private care home.

She has reluctantly agreed to have the vaccine and is now double-jabbed, but is very unhappy about the situation.

I object strongly to being vaccinated. Having the jabs was pretty straightforward and quick, but I dont want to have any injections at all, and this was forced upon me. Im worried about side-effects, long-term effects, and think its a shocking violation of human rights.

Visitors are allowed in our home unvaccinated, but care team workers are being forced to have the jab. In the end everybodys had the vaccines in my care home, and had to bring in evidence.

Claire says she does not personally deal with patients face-to-face on a daily basis but works in the back office most of the time, and everyone wears full PPE when in contact with patients.

The staff, she says, did not really have a choice in whether to have the vaccines or not, as jobs are scarce in the area, which might be different in the big cities.

The job situation is very hard here, you often cant pick and choose where you work. Despite this, we do have staff shortages, and in the last six months our recruitment has been affected. Weve had a significant drop in applications and currently have six jobs waiting to be filled, although theyve put up the hourly pay.

Attempts At Promoting Voluntary Vaccine Compliance

COVID vaccination card cannot be used for travel â News ...

Hospitals have tried numerous techniques to increase voluntary immunization among their patient-care staffs. Some hospitals use roving carts that bring vaccines to nursing stations, or vaccines might be brought to staff meetings. In some facilities, vaccine decliners must sign statements acknowledging the risk they are assuming for themselves and for their patients, or they might have to wear surgical masks during flu season. The goal of all these measures is to make vaccination as convenientand avoidance of vaccination as inconvenientas possible.

Unfortunately, while these efforts to achieve voluntary compliance tend to increase vaccine uptake somewhat, they still leave vaccination rates below 50%. The only approach that has generated near-total compliance is mandatory vaccination consisting of an ultimatum to health care workers that they either receive a vaccine or lose their job. Limited exceptions are permitted for individuals known to be at heightened risk for side effects, such as allergies to vaccines, and for those with clear religious objections.

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Current Requirements On Care Workers

On 22 June 2021, the Government laid the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2021 before both Houses. The regulations made it a requirement for workers in care homes registered by the Care Quality Commission in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, subject to certain exceptions. The Government contended that the purpose of the regulations was to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in care homes and to protect care home residents who were vulnerable to the disease. Both Houses approved the regulations in July 2021, although the House of Lords did so with regret. The regulations later came into force on 11 November 2021. The Government described the four-month gap as a grace period for the policy to be implemented.

Further background on these earlier regulations can be found in the following article:

House of Lords Library, Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2021, 16 July 2021

Support From The Rcn If You Refuse The Vaccine

What about RCN support?

If you intend to refuse a vaccine on medical grounds, please see our employment rights section above. If your refusal leads to a dispute with your employer, please see our guidance on dismissal and contact us for advice and support.RCN support may be available to support members through a formal process. In England as a result of the regulations, if staff remain unvaccinated and there are no clinical reasons why they cannot have the vaccine, or a fair dismissal process has not been followed, while the RCN will continue to liaise and work with organisations, unfortunately there will be little the RCN can do.

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Will Staff Vacancies Now Balloon

The logic behind this move is obvious – the virus presents a real risk to vulnerable people in hospital and the vaccine reduces the chances of infection and transmission.

So it’s not hard to understand why insisting on jabs for staff who have contact with patients will, in theory, help protect patients.

But if it causes more staffing shortages that simply increases risk in another way.

There are already more than 90,000 vacancies in the NHS in England. It is a number that has actually fallen during the pandemic after staff put off retiring to help out.

If those staff take up their option to retire and mandatory vaccination forces others out, the NHS could find itself severely short of staff come the spring.

Mandatory vaccination comes into force for the care sector this week. Since it was announced, only two-thirds of the unvaccinated have come forward.

If a similar trend is seen for the NHS, vacancies would likely balloon to unprecedented levels.

Unison head of health Sara Gorton said she feared the move might knock staff morale further and prompt workers to leave – or lose their job.

The government should consider alternatives like daily testing, she said, and not risk making the same mistake made with mandatory jabs in social care – which she said had led to an unprecedented staffing crisis.

From Thursday, care homes will be required to refuse entry to workers who have not been fully vaccinated, unless they have a medical exemption or there is an emergency.

Employment Rights: Can A Prospective Employer Demand That I Have The Vaccination As Part Of My Conditions Of Employment

Hospitals grapple with federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare staff

This may be included in contracts of employment for new starters working in some roles and sectors. Every effort should be made to support staff to accept vaccination or deploy them to lower risk areas. This is similar to the policy for hepatitis b vaccine for health and social care workers which sits within the wider guidance to minimise the risk for staff in exposure prone procedures and blood born virus.

Staff who decline vaccination should not necessarily be denied employment if it is possible for staff to be employed or redeployment to low-risk areas. It is recognised however, that in smaller organisations it may not be possible or practical to facilitate. As a result, where individuals refuse the vaccines recommended, they may be refused employment.

For RCN members on existing contracts who decide they do not want the vaccine, see the section above and our guidance on dismissal.

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The Case For And Against Mandating Covid

Mandatory vaccination of HCP might arguably involve justifiable limitations on HCP autonomy to ensure the fulfilment of certain professional responsibilities. On the one hand, HCP regularly work with and treat vulnerable populations, including older and immunocompromised individuals, heightening the importance of infection prevention including via uptake of safe and effective vaccines where these prevent transmission to patients. On the other hand, some HCP hold negative attitudes toward vaccines that contribute to low vaccine uptake. These negative attitudes seem to remain among HCP regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Research suggests additional concerns among HCP specifically regarding: COVID-19 vaccines and breakdowns of trust between HCP and institutions .

There has been a recent increase in seasonal influenza vaccination mandates for HCP based on their obligation to do no harm, professional duty to prioritise patients interests , and perceived obligation to set a good example for the public. Some or all of this logic may be adopted as the justification for mandating COVID-19 vaccines to HCP once they become available. Nevertheless, there are important questions surrounding the basis of HCPs commitment to do no harm and the duty to care in the context of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

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