TV presenter Piers Morgan has claimed healthcare workers who refuse to get vaccinated for Covid-19 should leave their jobs, as the government announced it would become a compulsory requirement for care home staff.
The controversial broadcaster suggested on social media that those who chose not to get the jab were showing a “reckless selfish disregard” for the health of people in their care.
“NHS and Care Home staff who refuse to be vaccinated need to leave their jobs and do something that requires less reckless selfish disregard for the health and wellbeing of their patients/residents,” Mr Morgan wrote on Twitter.
In a later tweet, the former Good Morning Britain host compared getting a Covid jab to wearing a seatbelt when in a car or to following rules on drink-driving.
Following a consultation on the use of staff vaccination in England to protect vulnerable patients and residents from Covid-19, Matt Hancock announced the move on Wednesday.
Mr Hancock is known to be in favour of mandatory jabs, while England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has previously said doctors and care workers have a “professional responsibility” to protect their patients.
Consultation is also expected to begin on whether other health and care workers should have the jab as well.
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group which represents care homes in Yorkshire, told the PA news agency this week that recruitment was “always challenging” before the pandemic and the move could make the problem even worse.
“If this goes ahead and is compulsory then I think it will put people off coming into the service. That's one problem,” Mr Padgham said, speaking before Mr Hancock’s announcement.
“The second problem is people who are already working in the service who might not want the vaccine. We are so stretched for frontline staff. It sounds easy to redeploy them but it isn't easy to replace them when you redeploy them. And I think people will be put off.”
Additional reporting by PA
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