In the House of Lords today, (20 January 2022) the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, called on the Government to delay the requirement for all health workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Her call comes amidst growing anxiety before vaccination becomes compulsory for frontline NHS staff from 1 April, following the passage of legislation last month, and warnings that London could lose 12.5% of its midwives as a result.
Bishop Sarah, who chairs the Church of England’s COVID Recovery Group, and was formerly Chief Nursing Officer for the United Kingdom, joins groups including the Royal College of Nursing in urging the Government to delay the implementation. She added:
“I would strongly encourage everyone, including NHS staff and health care workers, to get fully vaccinated. However, having heard from midwives myself this week, I can see the anxiety that the requirement for mandatory vaccination is causing, as well as the potential risks to the heath service and its patients. It is estimated that London could lose 12.5% of its midwives, putting at risk the lives of pregnant women and their babies. Such loss of staff might be thought justified, were it not the case that two doses of the vaccine are not understood to be protective against the omicron variant of COVID-19. So we shall lose precious midwives in order to implement a policy that has been superseded by the evolution of the virus.”