UK mandating COVID-19 vaccines for nursing home staff

UK mandating COVID-19 vaccines for nursing home staff
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British Health Minister Matt Hancock this week confirmed that nursing home staff in the country will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under proposed legislation.

Following parliamentary approval, new legislation will be enacted beginning in October that will require individuals providing in-home care nursing or personal care to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, Sky News reported.

"After careful consultation we've decided to take this proposal forward to protect residents," Hancock said during a meeting with members of Parliament on Wednesday, according to the news outlet. "Therefore we will be taking forward the measures to ensure the mandation as a condition of deployment for staff in care homes and we will consult on the same approach in the NHS in order to save lives and protect patients from disease."

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"This is the right thing to do and a vitally important step to continue protecting care homes now and in the future," he added. "I'd urge anyone working in care homes to get their jab as soon as possible."

The United Kingdom's move comes as the country tries to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes. Concern about cases of virus infection has increased as the spread of the delta variant has begun to rise within the community, Sky News noted.

The proposal will also reportedly give nursing staff up to 16 weeks to get the vaccine before they are faced with losing their positions.

"Care home residents will be better protected from death and serious illness" under the new policy, the Department of Health and Social Care said, according to the outlet.

More than 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in nursing homes in England since the start of the pandemic, according to Sky News.