An intensive care doctor has challenged the UK health secretary Sajid Javid over mandatory covid vaccines.
Consultant anaesthetist Steve James confronted Sajid Javid at King’s College Hospital in London on Friday and told him that “the science isn’t strong enough” and denied that the virus was causing “very significant problems” for young people.
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He also said that he was against making it compulsory for NHS staff to be vaccinated.
The Mirror reports: The medic was talking to Javid when he made a visit to King’s College Hospital in London to get views on the decision to make vaccinations compulsory for NHS workers.
Mr James, who has been treating Covid patients in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital since early 2020, has not received any Covid jabs.
He said that he has had Covid which means he will have antibodies against the virus and is angry about the possibility of being dismissed due to the government’s decision to enforce vaccines for hospital staff.
He was against the idea of compulsory jabs and said patients in the unit had been “extremely overweight” with multiple other co-morbidities.
Mr Javid disagreed with him as he urged the public to get boosted.
“I wouldn’t say he agreed with me,” Mr James said. “I had the feeling he was listening.”
During the visit, Javid highlighted the importance of vaccinations as he said an estimated 70% of people in the unit with Covid were unvaccinated against the virus.
He also warned the NHS was facing a “rocky few weeks ahead” as hospital admissions from the Omicron variant are rising.
MPs approved mandatory vaccinations for NHS staff and those working in social care back in December.
All staff must be vaccinated by April or risk losing their jobs.
Mr James told the health secretary that the government should reconsider the rule and that one option would be to not enforce the rule on staff who have had Covid and have some antibodies.
“I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination. The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less,” he told Sky News.
“And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.”
The Head of King’s College Hospital Dr Clive Kay has said that he was ‘worried’ at about losing 1,000 staff.
Aaround 10 per cent of approximately 14,000 workers at the hospital are yet to receive a first dose.
He refused to comment on ‘individual cases’ but said it was a ‘moot point’ whether or not the measures were fair, as they were now matters of law.
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