Applies to England
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The government hosted a public consultation from 9 September to 22 October 2021 on whether or not to make COVID-19 and flu vaccination a condition of deployment within health and wider social care settings. This is the formal government response to that consultation. The government’s response confirms that they intend to proceed with requirements in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19 and latest estimates suggest that 105,900 deaths and 24,088,000 infections have been prevented as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination programme (up to 20 August). Vaccinated people are less likely to get seriously ill, be admitted to hospital, or die from COVID-19 and there is evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus on to others.
Following a public consultation on making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for those working in adult care homes, the government recently announced COVID-19 vaccination would be required of people entering a CQC registered adult care home, unless exempt, to protect vulnerable residents.
While residents in care homes are some of the most at risk from COVID-19, the responses to this initial consultation made a clear case for extending this policy beyond care homes to other settings where vulnerable people receive care and treatment.
The government, therefore, is now seeking views on whether or not to extend vaccination requirements to other health and care settings for COVID-19 and also for flu. Recent research has shown people infected with both flu and COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to die as someone with COVID-19 alone and nearly six times more likely than those with neither flu nor COVID-19, so it is right that both are considered within the consultation.
The consultation proposes that, if introduced, requirements would apply to frontline health and care workers– those with face-to face contact with patients and clients though the delivery of services as part of a CQC regulated activity. It would mean only those workers that are vaccinated could be deployed (or those with a legitimate medical exemption) to deliver those services.
These are complex and important issues and the consultation seeks to gather a wide range of perspectives from the public and across the health and care sectors about whether such requirements should be introduced and how they could be implemented.
The easiest way to participate is by completing the survey
The consultation document has been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Kurdish, Nepali, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Ukrainian and Urdu.