BMJ: Mandatory covid-19 vaccination for care home workers

This editorial was published in the BMJ. We encourage you to click the link below the excerpt to read the full text along with the Rapid Response comments.

Mandatory covid-19 vaccination for care home workers

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1684 (Published 08 July 2021)Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n1684

Unnecessary, disproportionate, and misguided

In a profound departure from public health norms, new law will remove the right of care home staff in England to choose whether to be vaccinated against covid-19.1 The intended next step is a rapid and massive expansion of compulsory vaccination legally to require covid-19 and flu vaccination of all frontline health and social care workers, subject to consultation.2

Official claims that “we are not forcing anyone to take the vaccine” are disingenuous.1 Care home workers who reject covid-19 vaccination will be dismissed from employment without compensation and be barred from access to their occupation. A regulatory amendment will make it unlawful for care homes to permit care workers to enter the care home premises without proof of full vaccination.1 This will impose a new duty on all registered providers of residential care to verify the medical status of each worker, including full time and part time agency staff, staff employed directly by a care home, and volunteers. It will give responsibility for compliance and enforcement to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The providers’ associations . . .

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