31 January 2022

Statement in response to Government review of mandatory vaccinations

Dr Habib Naqvi, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, said:

“The Observatory welcomes the Government’s decision announced on 31 January, to consult on ending a legal requirement for front-line NHS staff in England to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Further insight is required, which is why we raised concerns last year that any mandatory Covid vaccination policy could be potentially discriminatory, widen inequalities and increase the likelihood of workplace bullying.

“Findings from our research on Covid-19 vaccinations and health and social care workers, published last week, found that workplace pressures and experiences of discrimination were affecting vaccine uptake decisions with respondents unable to openly discuss their concerns and being dismissed as “anti-vax”.

“Critically, the research also found that workplace environments in which vaccination decisions are informed and voluntary are more likely to lead to vaccine uptake.”