Responding to the government consultation on mandatory vaccination for frontline health and social care staff, Helen Donovan, Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead for Public Health, said:“All nursing staff should have any vaccine deemed necessary to help protect themselves, patients, colleagues, family members, and the wider community. This has always included the flu vaccine and more recently the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We do, however, have concerns around mandating vaccines and whether this will ultimately improve uptake.
"The majority of all nursing staff accept vaccination, the Department of Health and Social Care’s own figures show 92% of NHS staff have had their first dose and 88% both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The focus should be on communicating the benefits of vaccination rather than making them mandatory.
“Involving staff in this consultation will help them to become further involved in the decision making and it is vital their views are properly taken into account over the next steps.”