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Covid vaccination to be mandatory for NHS staff in England from spring 2022

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2733 (Published 10 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2733

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Re: Covid vaccination to be mandatory for NHS staff in England from spring 2022

Dear Editor,

There is increasing evidence that vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus neither prevents acquisition of the virus nor its onward transmission. Nor, in theory, is there any reason why it could. It is not as if the vaccine creates some impervious shield outside the body.

It is therefore illogical to require health service staff to be vaccinated, and illogical also to require a vaccine "passport" to enter particular venues.

The only clear benefit of vaccination is a reduction of progression from infection to severe disease, aka Covid-19. Thus health staff should take this into account when choosing to refuse vaccination, but that should be a personal decision. Insistence on vaccination as a condition of employment will make no difference to nosocomial disease. However, as a positive lateral flow test is the most accurate indicator of virus transmissibility, it would make sense for NHS employees to have regular, maybe daily tests, which would clearly identify risk carriers.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 November 2021
Andrew N Bamji
Retired consultant rheumatologist
None
Rye