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Making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector

Published: 3rd November 2021

CMF supports the Government's aim of encouraging high levels of vaccine uptake among health and social care workers, as a means of protecting patients, service users and co-workers. However, we feel that to make COVID-19 and Flu vaccinations mandatory - 'a condition of deployment' - lacks sufficient evidence and could backfire. Ethically, in public health matters, interventions that are most intrusive or restrictive, such as those in this proposal, require a strong justification and clear evidence that less intrusive measures would be less effective.

The consultation document does not provide evidence pointing to the likely effectiveness of the policy in increasing vaccine uptake and in protecting patients and workers from harm. Neither does it point out potential unintended consequences, in terms of reduced staffing levels and the impact of those on the provision of care.

We would urge the Government first to explore the reasons behind why some health and social care workers are resisting vaccination, and why there is variation in vaccine uptake across different health and care settings and regions. What are the ethical considerations that have informed its proposal? Could there be less intrusive methods that could be adopted that would be less likely to provoke resentment and more likely, in the longer term, to achieve the Government's aim? Persuasion trumps compulsion every time.

Read the full submission here

For further information:

Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

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