Care-home bosses mulling mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for staff are acting responsibly, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said, although he refused to say whether pubs should bar punters who haven’t been jabbed.
Johnson said on Wednesday the concept of vaccine certification “should not be totally alien to us” as he was asked by a committee of MPs about its use in care settings and the hospitality sector as the UK emerges from lockdown.
“We’ve seen what happened in care homes,” the PM said, referring to the rapid spread of the virus in elderly residences, where Covid deaths accounted for as many as 50 percent of all UK pandemic fatalities in 2020.
“It doesn’t seem to me to be irresponsible at all, far from it, it’s wholly responsible for care-home companies to think of requiring vaccinations [of their staff].”
Johnson was also asked if he supported mandatory vaccinations for pub-goers – when bars open on April 12 – but said it “may be up to the landlord.”
The PM struck a different tone on the subject last month when he said it would be unlikely that pubs would be asking to see vaccine certs from customers.
“What I don’t think we will have in this country is, as it were, vaccination passports to allow you to go to the pub, or something like that,” he said when asked at the time.
The discussion around mandatory care home vaccinations comes as recent data revealed that the take-up of the jab among care-home staff is only 76%, while it is as low as 62% in London – much less than the 94% of care-home residents who have opted for the jab.
Speculation about a government push to get more staff vaccinated was further fuelled by a report in the Telegraph on Monday that claimed staff in the homes will be required by law to get vaccinated.
The government has not confirmed the reports.
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