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Unvaccinated ICU Doctor Challenges Sajid Javid Over Mandatory Jabs For NHS Staff

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Unvaccinated ICU Doctor Challenges Sajid Javid Over Mandatory Jabs For NHS Staff

Footage shows the moment an unvaccinated hospital consultant challenged Health Secretary Sajid Javid over the government’s compulsory Covid jab policy for NHS staff, arguing that the ‘science isn’t strong enough’. 

Javid arrived at King’s College Hospital in London to speak to staff about their thoughts on the new rules, which are due to be enforced in April. 

As Sky News cameras rolled, he initially asked a group of five workers at a desk, but they seemed unsure how to answer - several letting out awkward laughs. 

Someone else, however, who was stood behind Javid, decided to jump in, saying: “I’m not happy about that.” 

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Consultant anaesthetist Steve James, who has been treating Covid patients in the ICU since the start of the pandemic, did not mince his words - not only saying he had not been vaccinated, but also that he does not want the jab. 

He told Javid: “I had Covid at some point, I’ve got antibodies, and I’ve been working on Covid ICU since the beginning. 

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“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. 

“And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.” 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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Javid replied: “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.” 

Dr James said he knew of another colleague who felt the same, adding: “Maybe there’s an opportunity to reconsider with Omicron and the changing picture or at least nuance it and allow doctors who have had antibody exposure, who have got antibodies, who haven’t had the vaccination to not have to have it, because the protection I’ve got from transmission is probably equivalent to someone who’s vaccinated.” 

After the interview, a spokesperson for King’s College Hospital told Sky News in a statement: "While currently, it is not a mandatory requirement for staff to get their Covid-19 vaccination or disclose vaccine status to patients, we strongly support and encourage all our staff to get their jab, in line with national guidance - and nearly 90 percent of our staff have already done so."

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Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Last month, MPs approved measures to make jabs mandatory for all NHS staff who deal with patients face-to-face.

This means that, from 1 April, there will be a new legal requirement for those who haven't had their first jab to do so by the beginning of next month.

Javid said at the time: “It is critical to patient safety that health and care staff get the jab to protect some of the most vulnerable people who are in their care and keep the NHS workforce strong in the wake of Omicron."

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The government continues to encourage people to get their booster jabs if they have not already received one, with recent research saying it provides more than 90 percent protection against symptomatic infection in adults aged 50 years and over.

LADbible has reached out to the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Coronavirus

Jess Hardiman
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