‘Ministers must acknowledge that there is a crisis’
10 January, 2022 By
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Nurses and colleagues have created what appears to be a social media movement explaining why they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, while urging others to do the same.
In recent days, a sea of comments have been posted by health and care professionals on Twitter in support of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I have had the vaccine to protect me, my loved ones and the community”
Nurse on Twitter
It comes soon after controversial comments were broadcasted from a critical care consultant anaesthetist speaking to the health and social care secretary about how he did not want to have the jab and that he disagreed with new mandatory vaccination rules due to be implemented for patient-facing NHS staff in April.
Many nurses and colleagues have been using #GetVaccinated or #GetVaccinatedNow hashtags to spread their message of support for the jabs, while sharing photos of themselves at work or being vaccinated.
One critical care nurse wrote: “I have spent almost two years working in Covid [intensive care] looking after hundreds of patients. I am triple vaccinated. I have had the vaccine to protect me, my loved ones and the community.”
A specialist diabetes nurse added that they had had three doses of the vaccine “because they are effective, safe, and it protects against severe illness and death”.
The nurse added they would also enable their young children to have it as soon as they could.
Also among those posting were directors of nursing, including one who wrote: “I trust the science that has gone into development of these vaccines.” They added: “I want to protect my family, patients and colleagues.”
Chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses, Nicki Credland, also joined the movement and wrote: “My family and I have all been vaccinated. I *know* it is the single most important thing I can do to avoid being admitted to [intensive care] or dying from Covid. And because it will protect those I care about most.”

Nicki Credland
On Saturday, several news outlets shared footage of Dr Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist at King’s College Hospital, who said he did not want to have the Covid-19 vaccine and that he believed he already had antibodies after catching the virus.
Dr James, who has been working in intensive care since the beginning of the pandemic, had been speaking to health and social care secretary Sajid Javid about the move to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all patient-facing health and social care workers in England.
He said he was “not happy” about the new rules, according to reports from Sky News.
“I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination. The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less,” added Dr James.
“And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.”
Responding, Mr Javid said: “I respect that, but there’s also many different views. I understand it, and obviously we have to weigh all that up for both health and social care, and there will always be a debate about it.”
In a separate interview with the BBC, King’s College Hospital chief executive Dr Clive Kay said 10% of his 14,000 staff were still unvaccinated.
He said staff were being encouraged with “kindness” and “compassion” to have the jabs, but he stressed that ultimately it was their choice, acknowledging that some people who refused could end up losing their job.
“Now is not the right time to introduce more bureaucracy”
Frances O’Grady
“There’s a possibility if they choose not to be vaccinated they could be redeployed. And if we can’t find that opportunity to redeploy them then the consequence is that they will [not have a job],” Dr Kay told the BBC.
Vaccination against Covid-19 was made a mandatory condition of deployment for staff working in care homes in England in November 2021.
In recent weeks the government has gone a step further and announced that from April 2022, all patient-facing health and care staff would be required to have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to go to work, unless they have an exemption.
Concerns have been raised by a House of Lords scrutiny committee which warned that the government’s case for mandating jabs for NHS staff failed to make clear how expected staff losses would be mitigated.
Meanwhile, at the end of last week, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) made an appeal for the government to delay the introduction of mandatory vaccinations for NHS workers, in light of soaring staff absence numbers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are in the middle of an NHS staffing crisis, borne not only from Covid absences, but also long-term problems that need long-term solutions. Now is not the right time to introduce more bureaucracy.”
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