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RCP responds to news that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for NHS frontline staff

The RCP has responded to news that the government has confirmed it will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for frontline NHS staff from 1 April next year.

In response to the news, Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “We wholeheartedly encourage all our members to take up the offer of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, but we believe it is essential that this remains a free choice for all health and care staff.

“We know that 98-99% of physicians have been vaccinated but introducing such a requirement could drive those who choose not to receive the vaccine to leave the NHS. That will create further capacity challenges at a time when the health service is already overstretched.”

The RCP responded to the Department of Health and Social Care’s consultation in October, saying that vaccination should not be a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector within England – find out more here.