No mandatory Covid jabs for NHS front line staff in Wales says Health Minister
The UK government is set to announce the frontline NHS staff in England will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid.
The move, expected to be announced today won’t be replicated in Wales as “take up” of the Covid-19 vaccine among health and social care staff is “high” Wales’ Health Minister has said.
A deadline will be set for next April to give unvaccinated staff in England time to get both doses, The BBC has reported, quoting “Whitehall sources.”
Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers has said, between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers in England were unvaccinated.
During a press conference this afternoon, Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services said take-up of the vaccine among health care workers was high and there was no need to mandate full vaccination Wales.
She also slammed the “hypocrisy” of Boris Johnson who was not wearing a face mask while visiting a hospital yesterday yet his government is mandating compulsory jabs for NHS staff in England.
Ms Morgan said: “We know that in Wales 95% of our health care workers have taken the opportunity to have both the doses of the vaccine so we think that those levels are very high, and we’re content with those levels.”
“We are still in the business of trying to persuade that final 5 % but there will obviously be amongst them some people who have medical reasons why they can’t have those two doses.”
“What I find shocking is that you have a situation where you have the UK Government insisting on people in the NHS being double vaccinated and yet the Prime Minister, the United Kingdom can walk into a hospital without even a face mask on.”
“I do think that this underlines the degree of hypocrisy that’s going on amongst the Conservative government.”
During the press conference, she said: “At the end of last month Coronavirus rates in Wales reached their highest level in the pandemic so far.”
“We have and we continue to have the highest rates of Coronavirus in the United Kingdom.”
“The reasons for this are complex as the First Minister explained in his press conference last week.”
She said Covid rates “peaked at the end of last month at just over 730 cases per 100,000 people.”
“Cases are thankfully falling but at around 530 cases per 100,000 people, our rates are still very high.”
“When rates of Coronavirus are this high in all parts of Wales we are inevitably seeing more people being admitted to hospital.”
“The latest figures show that there are 800 COVID-19 related patients in hospitals across Wales.”
“The NHS is under huge pressure at the moment from the combination of winter illnesses, COVID, Emergency demands and trying to catch up with all the operations and treatments which were postponed during early earlier waves of the pandemic.”
“We can support the NHS and this winter by getting the spread of Coronavirus under control and preventing more people falling seriously ill with COVID 19.”
“We can do this by ensuring we’ve had both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and having the autumn booster to if we’re eligible. Having our winter flu jab will also help.”
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