NHS doctor challenges Sajid Javid over Covid vaccination rules | Health policy
An NHS doctor challenged Sajid Javid over mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers, telling the Health Secretary: “I have not been vaccinated; I don’t want to be vaccinated.
The scene, which was caught on Sky News cameras, first aired on Friday after Javid visited King’s College Hospital in south London. It has been widely shared on social media by critics and supporters of the vaccination mandates.
The government has ruled that all NHS staff in England who have direct contact with patients must have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine by February 3 or risk losing their jobs at the end of March. Union leaders on Friday urged the government to delay the new rule or face an exodus of thousands of healthcare workers.
On a walk in King’s on Friday, Javid asked medics and nurses what they think of the government’s plans to require vaccinations for all NHS staff. After a brief silence, Steve James, a consultant anesthesiologist who has worked throughout the pandemic, replied, “I’m not happy with this. “
James told Javid: “I had Covid at one point, I have antibodies and I have been working on ITU Covid from the start; I have not been vaccinated, I do not want to be vaccinated. The vaccine only reduces transmission for about eight weeks with Delta. With Omicron, it’s probably less. And for that I would be fired if I do not have a vaccine? The science is not strong enough.
“It’s your point of view,” Javid replied. Turning to a group of nurses, he added, “What about your point of view? However, they did not respond.
Returning to James, Javid continued, “I respect that, but there are also a lot of different points of view.”
Javid added: “I understand that, but obviously we have to weigh all of this for health and social care and there will always be a debate about it…”
James replied, “There may be an opportunity to reconsider with Omicron and the changing picture, or at least the nuance that will allow doctors who have had exposure to antibodies, who have antibodies, who haven’t. not been vaccinated, not to have because the protection I have is probably equivalent to someone who is vaccinated.
“Yes, but at some point it will go down,” Javid said.
James said, “But if you want to provide protection with a booster, you have to inject everyone every month. If the protection has run out for transmission after two months, then after one month you still have some protection. But if you want to maintain the protection, you will have to reinforce all the staff every month, which you are not going to do. “
Javid responded to his challenge by saying, “We’re taking the best advice we can, from the vaccine experts. “
Half a day after the video was posted on Twitter, it had been viewed approximately 1.2 million times.