Care home workers in UK are required to receive Covid-19 vaccine or to find another job, said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
The government has given the workers until Nov. 11 to receive the vaccine or risk losing their jobs. In an interview with the BBC’s Radio 4 on Saturday, Javid said he wasn’t prepared to “pause the requirement, adding that if you work in a care home and “cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated, then get out and go and get another job.”
The UK has witnessed more than 137,000 deaths from COVID, the most in Western Europe. The virus swept through care homes, with their elderly and often medically vulnerable residents, at the start of the pandemic.
The government has started easing COVID restrictions in recent months, counting on one of the world’s most successful vaccine programs to limit the impact of the virus.
Still, the spread of the delta variant has led to an increase in number of infections, with breakthrough cases rising, particularly among the most vulnerable.
Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, told the BBC that 86 percent of care home workers are now inoculated, but without an extension to the government’s November deadline consequences on care would be severe.
“The situation is chronic now with staffing and that deadline will just add to it,” she told the BBC.