Mandatory Covid vaccinations for NHS and social care workers are to be scrapped after the Government realised that 100,000 staff being sacked during a supposed pandemic would expose the lie.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, will today (Monday) meet fellow ministers on the Covid-Operations Cabinet committee to rubber stamp the decision on the about-turn.
Multiple government sources said ministers are expected to end the requirement with the 'official' reason being because the Omicron Covid variant, now dominant in the U.K., is milder than previous strains, but was actually due to Pandemic optics, with several advisors pointing out to Javid that sacking 100K NHS workers when the entire restrictions had been to 'save the NHS' would raise uncomfortable questions for the Government.
The move comes after warnings that almost over 100,000 healthcare workers would be forced out of their jobs because they had declined to take two doses of a Covid vaccine. The Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of GPs have all pushed for the requirement to be delayed, with warnings it would have a “catastrophic” impact.
Deadline to begin having the potentially fatal jabs was to be Feb 3rd, in time for the April 1st completion date, the last day on which staff could get their first jab in order to be fully vaccinated in time.
The legal requirement for care home staff to be fully vaccinated came into effect in November. An estimated 40,000 people lost their jobs over the policy. Under the new rules, they are expected to be able to return to work in the sector. It is not know legally where those people stand in light of the u-turn. Likewise it is currently unknown what people's rights are who have already had the jab against their will, and have suffered catastrophic side effects.
On Sunday night, care home representatives expressed fury at the handling of the issue, saying the flip-flopping had “devastated our workforce and brought providers to their knees”.
The change of approach reflects Downing Street’s increasing focus on how the UK must “learn to live with Covid” as the surge of Omicron cases fades.