Branch Secretary :

Covid vaccine: encouragement not compulsion

Unite repeats its opposition to the mandatory Covid vaccinations for NHS and social care staff


Unite the union today strongly reiterated its opposition to any health and social care worker being forced to have the Covid vaccine or risk losing their job.


Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, said that it would be making a robust submission in response to the government’s six week consultation, which started on 9 September, into the mandatory vaccination for frontline health and care staff.


Encouragement not compulsion


Unite’s reinforcement of its position, first outlined in January this year, comes as the government today announces its anti-Covid measures for the autumn and winter.



Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: Unite strongly opposes forcing any health and social care workers to have a vaccine or risk sacrificing their job. Encouragement, not compulsion, is the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the very good reason that such an approach is shown to work. 


“During the consultation period, we will be widely canvassing the views of our members and be making a robust submission to ministers.”


Unite’s position statement on Covid-19 vaccinations from January 2021 can be found via this link


The key line is: “Unite in health strongly recommends the voluntary uptake of the vaccine when offered for all health and social care workers unless their individual circumstances dictate otherwise.”


Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Tuesday 14th September 2021


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