MIL-OSI United Kingdom: expert reaction to BBC News reporting that COVID-19 vaccination will become mandatory for frontline NHS staff in England


Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments

It has been reported that frontline NHS staff in England will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by next spring.

Prof Helen Bedford, Professor of Children’s Health, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said:

“When there is concern about less than optimal vaccine uptake rates, making vaccination mandatory can seem the obvious solution but it can backfire. It may make people who are just unsure about vaccination more resistant. The reasons that health care staff may not be taking up the vaccine are similar to those in the general population with concerns about safety or necessity of vaccination always top of the list. However, access to vaccination or difficulties booking an appointment may also be a barrier for some people. There is plenty of evidence showing that it is preferable to provide opportunities to discuss vaccine concerns openly and non-judgmentally with people who have doubts and to ensure there are adequate opportunities to access vaccination. These initiatives have already been found to be effective in UK hospital settings. Mandation should be the last resort when these other measures have not been successful.” 

All our previous output on this subject can be seen at this weblink:

Declared interests

Prof Helen Bedford: Member of NICE committee developing guidance on vaccine uptake in the general population

MIL OSI United Kingdom