Health secretary 'leaning towards' compulsory vaccines for NHS staff

Sajid Javid was made Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in the January

Sajid Javid is considering making Covid vaccinations compulsory for NHS staff - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said he is "leaning towards" making the Covid-19 vaccine compulsory for NHS staff.

He told Sky News the government is "considering" making the vaccine mandatory for the roughly 100,000 NHS staff who are yet to get their first jab and added that if they "haven't got vaccinated by now then there is an issue about patient safety". 

Mr Javid declined to say when the move would come into force, saying "it will take some time to get it through parliament" and he would then want to give people time to come forward to get their jab.

But he added: "I don't want to put a timeframe on it but it wouldn't be months and months."

In a interview with Times Radio Mr Javid said: "If you're working in the NHS, that fantastic work you're doing every day, you are more susceptible to this virus because you're just much more likely to come into contact with it, but also the people that you're looking after are more vulnerable... this is about protecting them and protecting yourself."

The health secretary has also criticised "idiots" who campaign against vaccines and spread lies and falsehoods outside schools.

When asked about Christmas, Mr Javid said he believed it will be " normal"  but he said the best thing to do is get vaccinated and take daily precautions.

"For all those people like me that are hoping and planning for a normal Christmas - which I do by the way, I think that's where we'll be, we'll have a normal Christmas - if we want let's just keep playing our part," Mr Javid said.