08 February 2022

Chris Whitty tells NHS staff it is their professional responsibility to get jabs

08 February 2022

Professor Sir Chris Whitty has written to unvaccinated NHS staff telling them it is their professional responsibility to get vaccinated.

The chief medical officer for England tweeted out the letter on Tuesday, saying: “I have written to NHS colleagues about the professional responsibility to protect patients from Covid-19.

“This includes getting vaccinated, as the great majority have.”

It has also been signed by chief midwifery officer Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief nursing officer Ruth May, and NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis, among others.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons last month that ministers plan to scrap a legal requirement for frontline NHS staff in England to be vaccinated against Covid.

He said ending the policy, which also affects social care staff, is now under consultation in light of the Omicron variant, which is less severe than the Delta variant.

In the letter, Sir Chris and others say that professional responsibility and legal mandate are separate things, adding: “Our professional responsibility is to get the Covid-19 vaccines as recommended, to protect our patients.

“At the same time, the vaccine protects us.

“The great majority of healthcare workers have already done so. We hope that those of you who have not will consider doing so now.”

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