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Government considering making Covid jab compulsory for Care home staff
23 March 2021, 08:25
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed they are considering making it compulsory for care home staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19 but says "no final decisions have been made".
Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari Health Secretary Matt Hancock said "no decisions" have been taken on whether care home workers in England could be legally required to have a coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Hancock said while no decisions have been taken it was something the Government are "looking at."
He told LBC care home staff have a "duty of care not to pass on the disease."
When Nick asked him if he was in support of the move Mr Hancock said it was something they were "considering."
Telling LBC that "many care homes have asked us to do it," he revealed there would need to be a change to the law to make the move compulsory.
The Health Secretary revealed so far 76% of staff in care homes have been vaccinated, but he told LBC he wants that figure "to be higher."
The conversation comes after The Telegraph reported leaked details of a paper submitted to the "Covid O" sub-committee of Cabinet saying Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock had agreed to the proposal.
"The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State have discussed on several occasions the progress that is being made to vaccinate social care workers against Covid-19 and have agreed, in order to reach a position of much greater safety for care recipients, to put in place legislation to require vaccinations among the workforce," one line was said to read.
The plans emerged amid concerns of low uptake of staff in care homes looking after those who are among the most vulnerable from contracting the disease.
But it would prove controversial, with the Prime Minister's official spokesman previously accepting it would be "discriminatory" to force people to be vaccinated.