Mandatory Covid vaccines for colleagues “short sighted” say Gedling NHS staff

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Adam Toms
Adam Toms
Adam has a keen interest in local politics and writes a number of articles for Gedling Eye covering local council activities and political issues affecting the borough.

NHS staff in Gedling borough have today criticised the Government’s decision to make Covid vaccines compulsory for their colleagues.

Current plans state that if staff have not received all doses of a Covid-19 vaccination byApril 1, 2022, they will lose their job.

The rule includes front-line workers, non-clinical workers, and ancillary staff, such as porters, cleaners or receptionists.

If staff have not received their first dose by February 3, it will be too late to receive their three doses.

Between 70,000 to 80,000 NHS staff in Notts remain unvaccinated.

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The Royal College of GPs has called for the policy to be delayed as the number of NHS staff overall is already insufficient.

Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said on Wednesday that the Government was “reflecting” on the plans.

Dee Evans, 41, a nurse from Gedling, said: “It’s very short sighted of the government.

“Doctors and nurses don’t force patients to have treatments they don’t want so why should they be forced to have a treatment to keep their job.

The NHS has been short staffed and underfunded for decades, this is just going to further compound the issue the NHS has.

A woman from Gedling, who has worked in the NHS for 35 years, opposes compulsory vaccination as she says they do not stop the spread of Covid completely.

The PA to surgeons said: “I am totally against mandatory vaccination.

Flu vaccine
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“I have had mine happily but don’t agree with mandating it.

“Most people I work with have had all their vaccinations but we have all still had Covid and spread Covid.

“It’s good that we weren’t too unwell BUT as the vaccine doesn’t stop you getting it or spreading it I think that is the reason it shouldn’t be mandatory.

“If it stopped it then I would agree that when working with vulnerable people it would be necessary.

“A lot of unvaccinated people now have a degree of natural immunity anyway.

“Education rather than force I think.”

Some Gedling borough residents in other roles also disapprove of the decision.

Hayley Long, 37, a training manager, said: “Can’t be that much of a pandemic if they are willing to sack all the NHS workers that we were clapping for not that long ago!!”

A man from Gedling, who wished to remain anonymous, raised religious possible reasons for individuals not wanting to take the vaccine.

He said: “Covid & NHS, so what takes precedence covid legislation or equality & diversity legislation.

“If a nurse won’t have a vaccine because of their religious persuasions you sack them?”

Darryl Paul, 55, who works in the building trade, said: “I have family and friends who work within the NHS and care industry.

“How [will] a mandate will work without one’s consent?

“How could someone be threatened into something or lose their job? I can’t see it happening.

“I may be completely wrong.”

Others, however, feel that prioritising safety over choice is the right thing to do.

Claire, 40, a production manager from Gedling, said: “NHS staff have to be vaccinated against other diseases.

“I can fully understand the frustration of people who feel if the laws/rules don’t seem to apply to those in Government then why should they to the rest of us.

“Them breaking the rules is not a good reason to throw cautionary measures out.

“But it is a very good reason to vote the rule breakers out.

“I am frustrated and angry.

“However my feelings don’t mitigate the need for protecting others and myself.”

Despite some concern’s from residents, MP for Gedling, Tom Randall, has told the Gedling Eye that he is supporting the move. 

He said: “Vaccination is the route out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Vaccines are safe, effective and significantly reduce one’s chance of suffering severe disease.

“I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

“The Victorians introduced compulsory vaccination, but this hasn’t been the modern approach.

“I believe in strong encouragement, not forcing people.

“But what about those in our hospitals and care settings, looking after the most vulnerable in society?

“In the run up to the vote on this measure, I personally faced a dilemma: on the one hand the liberty of the individual – the right not to receive a vaccination, no matter how wrong I think that decision is – and on the other ensuring those admitted to hospital need to be in as safe an environment as possible.

“I spoke to a range of doctors, nurses and others to canvass their views and before the vote and ultimately, while the arguments were finally balanced, I decided to support them.

“I am of course, following the practical implementation of this measure very closely.”



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