I am passionate about the importance of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. I recently wrote a paper in the Journal of Adult Protection identifying the structural abuse of people in care homes during the Covid pandemic, which implicated the government by means of its approach in the initial and subsequent wave. So, it may be assumed that I would be supportive of moves to mandate the vaccination of care home staff who work specifically with older people (Report, 15 June).
This seems to me, however, like a distraction, a passing of blame by government to those staff who, for whatever reasons, are anxious about having the vaccine, rather than government ministers owning their inadequate and structurally discriminatory response in the first place. The government needs to gain the trust of the people, especially those working at the sharp end of social care, through honesty, openness and acceptance of fault in order to encourage everyone to take up the necessary vaccinations to halt the spread of this virus.
Prof Jonathan Parker
The assertion in your editorial (17 June) that medical staff can only carry out certain procedures if they have been protected against hepatitis B is misleading. In 2007, the Department of Health required that new staff carrying out certain procedures should prove that they are non-infectious for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, and should be offered a hepatitis B vaccination. This is not the same as mandating vaccination.
As a doctor, I abide by GMC guidance that I should be immunised against common, serious communicable diseases. Healthcare support workers in residential adult care homes have no statutory regulation, are not well paid, and do essential work that can be physically and emotionally demanding. Workers in this sector should be treated with more respect, and the application of inaccurate arguments to the complex question of mandatory vaccination should be called out.
Dr Dorothea Morfey
Consultant anaesthetist and former adult care home nursing support worker
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Post source: Guardian
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