Hundreds of Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust staff not vaccinated as Government reconsiders mandate

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By Reporter
Monday, 31st January 2022, 12:15 pm

Hundreds of workers at Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust are still not vaccinated against Covid-19, figures suggest.

Across England, millions of people have been triple jabbed in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic – but tens of thousands of NHS staff are yet to have a first dose.

NHS England data shows 93 per cent of the 9,651 health care workers at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had received at least one vaccination by the end of December, meaning 712 were unvaccinated at that point.

93% of the 9,651 health care workers at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had received at least one vaccination by the end of December

The figures also show 8,571 workers had received two jabs – 89 per cent of staff – and 6,651 had received a booster dose (69 per cent).

There is no further breakdown between the two hospitals - Bedford and Luton & Dunstable.

However, there is speculation the Government is considering a U-turn on mandatory vaccinations for NHS staff.

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The Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Nurses have encouraged the take-up of vaccinations among NHS workers but are among those who have expressed concern over the rapidly approaching deadline.

Mandatory jabs could have a significant impact on staff retention and put further pressure on the NHS while marginalising the vaccine hesitant, according to the RCN.

The NHS Confederation, which represents the whole healthcare system, said there were risks as well as benefits to a mandatory approach.

Chief executive Danny Mortimer said: "Most health leaders support the introduction of a mandate as it reflects the positive impact that vaccination will continue to have against coronavirus, but they would have preferred longer to implement the policy, particularly given the intensity of winter.

"While the majority of health and care workers have been vaccinated, even small reductions in staffing numbers can cause disruption.

"No leader wants to see this given the high standards of care they wish to maintain, the significant vacancies that exist across the NHS already, and the care backlogs that have built up during the pandemic."