Government ‘considering pause’ to NHS Covid vaccine mandate

The government is considering pausing its plans to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory for NHS staff, according to a report, over fears that some 70,000 health service staff could be lost as a result.

The new rules are set to come into force on 1 April – with the necessary gap between doses meaning that staff who have not received their first jab by 3 February will soon start to receive letters of dismissal.

Both the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives have separately called upon Sajid Javid, the health secretary, to halt the move voted for by MPs last month, with the former warning it “would be an act of self-sabotage” in light of the staffing crisis plaguing the NHS.