The House of Commons has approved regulations requiring anyone working in a Care Quality Commission - registered care home in England to have two vaccine doses unless they have a medical exemption. Whilst the statistics are stark in terms of the impact which COVID-19 has had on care home residents, justifying the need to protect these vulnerable members of society, forcing care home staff to be vaccinated is not without controversy.
Many care organisations already struggle to recruit staff and the government's decision to regulate for compulsory vaccination is unlikely to help matters. The government suggests employers look for alternative roles for those who do not want to be vaccinated but the reality is that such roles are likely to be few and far between and those who are reluctant to be vaccinated could well face dismissal, only adding to the staffing shortages and ultimately impacting on the quality of care that can be provided. There is no easy answer to this situation - we can only hope that the promised guidance for employers in this sector provides some clarity as to when and if exceptions to the vaccination requirement can be made.
Compulsory vaccinations for care home staff in England backed by MPs