By Shivika Singh | News Editor
The Welsh Government has made it clear that it will not make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for NHS staff as COVID-19 rates continue to rise. However, on the contrary, NHS staff in England will have to be double jabbed against COVID-19, if they want to work in Frontline roles.
As Wales is presently recording high infection rates, with the seven-day infection rate now being at the highest rate ever at 717 cases per 100,000, with almost a quarter of tests coming back positive, strict measures were being expected. When asked whether they would take this step a Welsh Government spokesman said: “Take up of the COVID-19 vaccine has been high among health and social care staff. Over 90% of staff in care homes for older adults have received both doses of the vaccine, with nearly half already receiving their booster jab, and we want to thank them for embracing vaccination – it helps protect them and the vulnerable people they care for.
“While COVID-19 vaccination rates are at such high levels in these groups, we do not see the need for compulsory measures.”
In England, the UK government has confirmed that it will require all frontline NHS staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It follows on from a decision earlier this year to make jabs for people working in care homes mandatory in England, which came into force on Thursday.
Wales, however has extended vaccine passes to ensure the infection rates slows down but the proposal for mandating COVID-19 vaccinations has been turned down.
Defending this decision at The Welsh Government Press Conference, health minister Eluned Morgan has said that she doesn’t see the need to do the same in Wales. “We know that in Wales 95% of our healthcare workers have taken the opportunity to have both doses of the vaccine. We think that those levels are very high and we’re content with those levels. We’re still trying to persuade that final 5% but we know that within that some people have medical reasons why they can’t have both doses of the jab.”
At present COVID passes – which show people have been fully vaccinated, have tested negative for coronavirus, or have recently had the virus – are used to allow people to enter large events and nightclubs in Wales.