Tomorrow, on Tuesday 13th July, MPs will vote on whether to make double coronavirus vaccinations mandatory for people working in adult care homes.
This is a seismic legal change and the crossing of the Rubicon for medical choice, medical confidentiality and bodily autonomy in England – vital components of the right to privacy.
Not only will care home workers, who have given so much during this pandemic, face losing their jobs if they decline or delay vaccinations (or refuse to disclose their vaccination status) from October. It also means that people in jobs that take their work into care homes, such as trades, kitchen staff, beauticians and inspectors, will also have to be double vaccinated – meaning that employers in a whole range of sectors will start demanding medical records from staff and applicants, and treating some less favourably than others.
We have sent every MP our briefing, which warns against this unnecessary, dangerous and discriminatory plan.
URGENT: Write to your MP to ask them to vote against mandatory vaccines.
1) Find your MP here
2) Personalise your email and tell your MP why you care about medical privacy and workers’ rights – this can make a real difference.
3) Include your name and address with postcode. This is important as your MP is only expected to deal with correspondence from their constituency.
PLEASE SHARE THIS ACTION ALERT FAR AND WIDE.
Subject: Please vote against mandatory vaccines
Dear [YOUR MP’S NAME],
I am writing to ask you to vote against the Draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, which has been announced at short notice for tomorrow.
This would make double Covid vaccinations mandatory for care home staff and people in related roles who work in or visit care homes such as cleaners, kitchen staff, trades, beauticians, volunteers and inspectors.
I’m urging you to vote against this proposal because it is:
- Coercive: Mandatory vaccination abandons long held public health principles in this country. It would be the crossing of the Rubicon on medical choice, medical confidentiality and bodily autonomy – vital elements of the protected right to privacy. The Government could no longer claim that no one is “forced” to receive vaccination in England.
- Counter-productive: There is no legal precedent for mandatory vaccination in the UK, except for Victorian Britain, where mandatory smallpox vaccines were ultimately reversed after instigating the anti-vaccination movement. Mandatory vaccination is likely to increase distrust. Support has long proven more effective at improving uptake than coercion.
- Seismic legal shift: Mandatory vaccines have been explicitly prohibited under the Public Health Act. Hepatitis B vaccinations are not mandatory under national law for health workers, but recommended under NHS Trusts’ policies. The impact of this legal change has not been fully considered.
- Unnecessary: 85% of eligible staff, and over 95% of residents in care homes have received vaccinations. Many more may have natural immunity – this has not been considered.
- Discriminatory: This legal change will reverse long-held protections on workers’ medical privacy, opening a can of worms of new risks to workers’ rights. Existing or prospective employees in care homes without vaccinations could face either unwanted medical treatment or redundancy, whilst workers in sectors that serve care homes – from kitchen staff to trades and beauticians – will be seen as undesirable and face job losses. Unvaccinated employees are disproportionately likely to be young people, who face a low risk from Covid, and black and minority ethnic groups.
GMB reports that over a third of care workers will consider quitting their jobs if this vote is successful tomorrow. This is a real and serious risk to safety and quality care in care homes, when it is needed most.
Please vote against mandatory vaccinations tomorrow.
[YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS]