Given the changes in clinical evidence the government is revisiting the balance of risks and benefits that guided its original decisions to make coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination a condition of deployment.
When vaccination as a condition of deployment was first introduced, Delta was the dominant variant.
Omicron has now replaced Delta as the dominant variant, representing up to 99% of cases across some regions.
While Omicron still presents a threat to public health, especially for those that are unvaccinated, relative to Delta, it is intrinsically less severe.
This has resulted in the risk of presentation to emergency care or hospital admission with Omicron being approximately half of that for Delta. When coupled with the high vaccination rate in the population, this has meant the impact of the circulation of Omicron has been less than initially feared.
The government has listened to the best and latest clinical and scientific advice and considered how they can achieve public health and safety with the minimum number of restrictions or requirements on people’s lives.
While vaccination remains the very best line of defence against COVID-19, and all people working in health and social care settings have a professional duty to be vaccinated, the view of the government is that it is no longer proportionate to require vaccination as a condition of deployment through statute in health, care homes or other social care settings.
They have launched a consultation to seek views on the intention to revoke the policy.
The easiest way to participate is by completing the public survey.