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Mitigations published for mandatory COVID vaccinations

Policy to start from 1 April 2022

December 13th 2021

Tagged: political news England COVID19

By Ailsa Colquhoun

DHSC has published an impact assessment to support the vaccination against COVID of all CQC regulated as a condition of deployment (VOCD).

However, the VOCD policy will not extend to flu vaccination.

GP teams have until 1 April 2022 to comply with the new regulations.

This shows that the VCOD consultation received over 34,000 responses and accepts that where there is a smaller workforce, the impact of workers not being able to be deployed… could make smaller providers unable to continue to provide services if workers are unable to be replaced.

In defence of its policy, the DHSC has announced the following mitigations:

  • the 12-week grace period, allowing time for both workforce planning, and for those colleagues who are not yet vaccinated, to make the positive choice to protect the people they care for, as well as themselves
  • setting an enforcement date of 1 April 2022 to assist providers over the winter period and help minimise workforce pressures
  • increasing the number and diversity of opportunities to receive the vaccine; using the booster campaign to make the most of walk-ins, pop-ups, and other ways to make getting the vaccine as easy as possible
  • the NHS have already written to all providers providing early guidance setting out what VCOD means for the system, as well as advising on next steps to boost uptake and help ensure smooth implementation. Guidance has also been published by NHSEI to assist providers, and small businesses who facilitate NHS services, in preparation and planning
  • increasing engagement with targeted communities where uptake is the lowest, including extensive work with ethnic minority and faith networks to encourage healthcare workers to receive the vaccine
  • making available resources to aid in one-to-one conversations with unvaccinated staff, with clear guidance on how to do this
  • reducing the time employers have to wait in order to deploy a worker – now a worker can be deployed 21 days after their first dose, rather than having to wait 8 weeks
  • reducing the complexity of the exemptions process and recognising mixed doses and vaccines received abroad