The Government’s response to its recent consultation on revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment was published on 1 March 2022. The consultation ran from 9 to 16 February 2022 and received over 90,000 responses, 90% of which were in support of revoking the requirement and 9% opposed the proposal.
The response sets out key themes from stakeholders who supported the revocation:
- “Widespread dissatisfaction with the timing of communication of the intention to revoke the policy
- Recognition of the issues already caused as a result of the implementation of the policy to date and the impact on relations between managers and staff in increasing uptake
- Desire for clarity over the timelines for revocation and the need for certainty for staff who are currently not fully vaccinated”
It would appear that the Government has taken these key themes on board and with the aim of providing clarity and quick revocation of the regulations states, “Regulations revoking vaccination as a condition of deployment will be made following the publication of this consultation response. The regulations will come into force on 15 March in order to provider certainty for employers, their staff, patients and people who receive care or support ahead of 1 April when regulations extending the requirement to health and wider social care were due to come into force.”
The changes in clinical evidence and “the reduced vaccine effectiveness” made the Government revisit its original decision to introduce COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and social care. That said, the Government is still promoting vaccination as our best line of defence and will continue to work on increasing vaccine uptake.