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Mandatory Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for NHS staff

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has re-affirmed its view that Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for health and care staff should not be made mandatory.

RPS has responded to a Government consultation on whether staff in health and care settings in England should be required to be vaccinated stating: “We actively and strongly encourage all pharmacists to take advantage of the COVID-19 programme and to get vaccinated unless there is a medical reason why they are unable to.

“All members of the pharmacy team should have any vaccine deemed necessary to help protect themselves, their patients and the wider community. We consider this to be best practice and within the GPhC standards for pharmacy professionals where pharmacists should make the care of the person their first concern and act in their best interests.

“We do not agree with making COVID-19 or flu vaccinations mandatory, as informed and educated choices about health interventions are more beneficial long-term than enforcing them.”

Over 92% of NHS staff have already received their first Covid vaccine and 89% have received their second dose.

Recognising this is an issue which raises professional, legal and ethical considerations, RPS recently ran a snapshot survey of its members on the topic in partnership with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, which showed no significant majority for or against vaccination. Of the 2211 people who responded to the survey, 53% supported making vaccinations mandatory and 47% did not. In light of further engagement with the profession, along with consideration of the consequences to the workforce and the public, we believe our current position statement against mandatory vaccination remains valid.

Read our response to the consultation 

Read our position statement on Covid-19 vaccination for pharmacists

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