There are ‘no plans’ to scrap or delay the NHS Covid vaccination mandate in England despite a huge outcry over the move, Downing Street said today.

Warning: The April 1st deadline to receive two shots by frontline medical personnel has been set. This could result in 80,000 vacant positions and paralyse the healthcare system.  

The official spokesperson of the Prime Minister, however, doubled down and said that the decision was still “the right way to go”. 

According to them, it was the duty of medics to get vaccinated as they look after those most at risk from Covid.  

On Sunday thousands marched against the move in central London. There have been also so-called “freedom rallies” held in Glasgow and Manchester as well as Birmingham, Leeds, and Birmingham.

Royal College of GPs warned of the potential for a mass exodus of non-vaccinated workers, calling for a delay. 

However, the spokesperson for the PM stated that there were no plans to alter the date of implementation. 

“Health and social workers care for the most vulnerable members of society, who could be at risk from serious illness if they are exposed to the virus.

The Government has been warned the April 1 deadline for frontline medics to get two jabs could leave 85,000 vacancies and 'paralyse' the health service

Warning to the Government: The April 1st deadline for frontline medical staff to receive two shots could result in 85,000 vacant positions and paralyse the health system.

A woman holds a placard promoting NHS 100k, a group of anti-vaxx ambulance workers who 'stand united in favour of freedom of choice, bodily autonomy and informed consent'

One woman is holding a sign promoting NHS100k. It’s a group anti-vaxx workers that’stand united for freedom of choice. Bodily autonomy and informed consent.

“Obviously, having a vaccination can also help to prevent staff from being absent. This will allow you to tackle the backlog of staff who were unable to get vaccinated.  

Concerns exist that non-jabbed NHS workers may simply be recruited in other areas of the UK by the health service, which has no plans to fulfill the mandates. 

Mark Drakeford, Wales’ first minister has said that he will not rule out hiring workers who aren’t vaccinated from the other side of the border.

BBC faces backlash for giving platform anti-vaxxers 

The BBC has been blasted for planning to air ‘dangerous nonsense’ after calling for anti-vaxxers to appear on Question Time.

Corporation was criticised for inviting people to join the audience in London when it visits.

Fiona Bruce, the presenter of this show, appealed to them during last week’s St Andrews broadcast.

She stated that a “relatively large proportion” of Londoners are not vaccinated, and she wanted to investigate some reasons for this.

However, social media users swiftly condemned her and BBC’s plans to broadcast ‘irresponsible views’.

One user said, “This dangerous nonsense.” The BBC has never been as irresponsible or populist to me.

“I know two people who were killed by Covid, and 10 other who had it.” It was a second-degree affliction for two of the victims.

Another tweet: “Putting anti-vaxxers in a “debate” programme implicitly implies they have an legitimate point of view, even though everyone disagrees.”

“You are still failing massively in your massive responsibility to define the limits of public discussion acceptable.”

One commenter said: “This doesn’t make sense. This stunt needs to be reconsidered @BBCPolitics unless you intend to address any anti-vaccine comments by presenting the facts.

On his Twitter Page, he added another: “This is the reason Question Time is beyond its sell by date.

For two vaccinations to be effective, front-line NHS workers must have one jab on or before February 3, so they can get them by April 1.

But roughly 80,000 – 5 per cent of the workforce – are not double-vaccinated, figures to January 20 show.

When asked if the PM is concerned about the estimated number of layoffs, he replied: “We don’t want to see any NHS staff member lose because they were unwilling to receive the vaccine that has been safe all around the globe.”

We know nine out of ten NHS staff are vaccinated. Since the announcement, tens and thousands more NHS staff has volunteered to get vaccinated.

“It is the NHS staff who are working in ICUs, that see how people most in dire need of treatment are primarily those who are not vaccinated. They are the ones who have to face the negative consequences of vaccine refusals. It is the NHS staff that care for the most vulnerable. We should make this a requirement.

Although they took a more aggressive stance during the pandemic on Covid restrictions, Scotland and Wales do not plan to establish vaccine mandates for the NHS. Northern Ireland is currently in consultation. 

Mr Drakeford told the BBC that Wales is not looking at compulsory jabs because the ‘vast majority’ of staff are already vaccinated. 

Drakeford responded to a question asking if Drakeford would consider hiring NHS staff from England.

“We’d like to find out the reason behind their decision.” While we wouldn’t exclude them, we wouldn’t venture out to find them.

Managers of NHS England have been informed that they are able to move non-vaccinated doctors from the frontline into positions which don’t involve patient contact.

The bosses won’t need to find staff a’suitable alternate employment’, and those dismissed will not receive redundancy payment.

Live-in NHS caregivers who care for elderly and disabled patients at their homes will be affected by the move.

It is believed that between 15 to 20% of the domiciliary staff may not be vaccinated.

According to The Homecare Association, the mandate would cause “further severe harm” to those already dealing with a ‘paralysing demand.  

The Government had allegedly misjudged the ratio between the reduced risk of infection, and the possibility of people being without essential care.

The safety and welfare of elderly and disabled persons will also be at risk.

The membership body is calling for the Government to withdraw the regulations now – before employers start serving notice on unvaccinated employees.

Jane Townson, Chief Executive, said that she had always supported the vaccination against Covid-19 because there was clear evidence of its effectiveness in saving lives.

“At the exact same time, however, we believe that persuasion is more effective than compulsion when it comes to achieving high vaccination uptake among people with real fears.

“And we have repeated the importance of balancing the reduced risk of infection and the danger of elderly or disabled persons going without essential care at home,

“In pushing ahead with regulations that require vaccinations as a condition for deployment in CQC-regulated larger care settings including homecare, the Government has seriously misjudged this risk balance.”

As a condition to deployment, two vaccines have been required for English care home staff since November.

This policy will affect frontline NHS staff and other social care workers working in England’s regulated environments.