MINISTERS have vowed to push ahead with mandatory Covid jabs for health care workers, despite protests.
Frontline staff marching against the rules yesterday were told they have a duty to ensure they are protected — or risk losing their job.
Whitehall sources dismissed claims rules set to be in force from April 1 could be paused, as 80,000 staff are yet to be vaccinated.
One insider said there were no plans to change the date by which staff must be fully vaccinated.
It means the unjabbed must have their first dose by February 3 in order to hit the April deadline. There are huge fears a large number of NHS staff could be lost.
Dr Nikki Kanani, deputy lead of the vaccine programme, said of the protesters: “If you’re marching today, think about the people you’ve been looking after who’ve experienced Covid, think about colleagues who you’ve been working with.
“And think about the best way to make sure we’re all protected, and we’re all as safe as possible.” She added: “As healthcare professionals, we all have a duty to make sure that we are protected.”
But Matthew Taylor, of the NHS Confederation, said: “We have said to the Government we may need more time than we have been given.
“There are some people in the NHS who are vaccine hesitant. Leaders need the time to identify those people, to understand their concerns, talk to them.”
Boris Johnson told MPs “we’ve got to do something” about fears thousands of NHS staff could leave their jobs. But No10 insisted last night there is no change to policy.
There were 76,807 new positive tests yesterday, a drop of 18,980 on Friday. Deaths rose from 288 to 297.
Most read in The Sun