Should Covid jabs be made mandatory in the UK? Tell us in our poll

We want to know if you think the government should be able to intervene in vaccine take-up

Sam Hancock
Friday 19 November 2021 17:51
<p>A man receives his Covid booster jab in Stratford, London</p>

A man receives his Covid booster jab in Stratford, London

As Austria announces it will make Covid vaccines a legal requirement by next February, questions are being raised around the rest of the Europe.

Will other countries follow suit? Should they? If so, when?

As of today, 19 November, more than 46 million people across all four UK nations have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. On top of that, some 14.2 million have gone out and got their third – so-called booster – jabs.

(We want to know what you think in our poll at the bottom of the article)

However, the situation is much worse across Europe, with countries such as the Netherlands recently reintroducing some lockdown measures as well as Austria and Germany banning unvaccinated individuals from public spaces.

Austria’s government went a step further on Friday, though, announcing vaccinations will be compulsory for the whole population from next February. Austrians were also told they were going into a full lockdown from next week, making it the first country in western Europe to take this measure during the latest wave of the virus.

Under the new rules, the whole population will be sent into lockdown for at least 10 days, although this could be extended, the Austrian chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said.

It comes days after the country sent around two million unvaccinated people into lockdown, telling them they had to stay at home unless it was for a list of reasons including going shopping or to work.

“We have not succeeded in convincing enough people to get vaccinated,” Mr Schallenberg told a news conference. “It hurts that such measures still have to be taken.”

In the UK, the latest government data shows cases of coronavirus are falling in most regions, though levels remain high.

Around one in 65 people in private households in England had Covid in the week to 13 November – the equivalent of around 824,900 people – down from one in 60 the previous week, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

To put that into context, back in the peak of the second wave in early January, the proportion of people who were estimated to have coronavirus in England was one in 50.

Unsurprisingly, Britain’s ongoing vaccination rollout is thought to be the main reason for the Covid situation being contained at the level it is.

With the government desperate to hold off on introducing Plan B restrictions in the UK, and health secretary Sajid Javid still recovering from the backlash to his decision to make Covid jabs mandatory for NHS staff, there is no sign of Boris Johnson enforcing any such lockdown or vaccination measures here.

But what do you think? Should the government be safeguarding Britons by making vaccines compulsory? Should restrictions be increased? Or do you think it should always be up to an individual to decide if they want to receive medication?

Please tell us in our poll below

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