Moment unvaccinated ICU doctor challenges Sajid Javid over mandatory jabs
An unvaccinated doctor has directly questioned the health secretary over the government’s policy to require all NHS staff to be jabbed.
During a visit to King’s College Hospital in London, Sajid Javid asked medics what they thought of the new rules.
Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist who has been working on ICU treating Covid patients since the start of the pandemic, took the opportunity to tell Mr Javid why he thought the policy was flawed.
Dr James said he was ‘not happy’ about the new rules.
‘I had COVID at some point, I’ve got antibodies, and I’ve been working on Covid ICU since the beginning,’ he told the health secretary.
‘I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination.
‘The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less.
‘And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.’
In response, Mr Javid said: ‘I respect that, but there’s also many different views.
‘I understand it, and obviously, we have to weigh all that up for both health and social care, and there will always be a debate about it.’
Dr James also said he knew of another colleague in a similar position.
He called on the health secretary to ‘nuance’ the rules given the ‘changing picture’ of the pandemic following the emergence of Omicron.
He said: ‘Maybe there’s an opportunity to reconsider with Omicron and the changing picture or at least nuance it and allow doctors who have had antibody exposure, who have got antibodies, who haven’t had the vaccination to not have to have it, because the protection I’ve got from transmission is probably equivalent to someone who’s vaccinated.’
But Mr Javid told him ‘at some point’ his protection would ‘wane as well’.
‘I respect your views and more than that I respect everything you’re doing here and the lives you’re saving,’ the health secretary told Mr James.
Following the conversation, a spokesperson for King’s College Hospital said: ‘While currently, it is not a mandatory requirement for staff to get their COVID-19 vaccination or disclose vaccine status to patients, we strongly support and encourage all our staff to get their jab, in line with national guidance – and nearly 90% of our staff have already done so.’
According to latest NHS England data, more than 90% of NHS staff have had at least two doses of a COVID vaccine and more than 60% have had a booster or third dose.
In December, MPs approved measures to make vaccinations mandatory for all NHS workers who have face-to-face contact with patients.
The new legal requirement for staff to be fully vaccinated will come into force from April 1, meaning anyone who hasn’t currently had their first jab will need to do so my the beginning of next month.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article