Vaccines as a condition of deployment regulations updated
The Health and Social Care Secretary announced on 31st January that being vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be a condition of employment for health and social care staff. The decision will be subject to public consultation and Parliamentary review.
Previously, it was a legal requirement for all health and social care staff to be double vaccinated as a condition of deployment. The government introduced the controversial regulation when the Delta variant was dominant. The Omicron variant has now replaced Delta and is dominant in 96% of cases.
Over 31 million boosters in England alone, and over 37 million in the UK, have now been administered providing a good level of protection across the country. This, coupled with the lower levels of hospitalisation and mortality, suggests the population as a whole is now better protected, with the latest evidence suggesting that the risk of presentation to emergency care or hospital admission is approximately half of that for Delta.
The number of staff getting vaccincated has increased significantly since September. 95% of NHS staff have now had at least one dose and the figure is 94.5% for care home employees.