Care home staff: What is difference between compulsory & mandatory? Do I have to get jab?

Ruth Langsford says compulsory vaccines are 'a step too far'

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Care home staff will be given 16 weeks to get the jab – or face being redeployed out of frontline care or losing their jobs. The move is the first of its kind in the UK regarding coronavirus vaccines.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the government’s announcement of its decision on compulsory vaccination for care home staff was “very imminent”.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We need to make sure we get the balance right but I’m sure people appreciate that protecting lives is the absolute priority.”

She did not say if compulsory vaccines could be brought in in other settings.

A full announcement is expected from the Government in the coming days.

It is also expected that consultations will begin on a similar rule for other health and care staff.

The compulsory vaccine is expected to raise some ethical and legal complications and could mire a workforce that is difficult to recruit for.

Doctors representating the British Medical Association said it encouraged members and other colleagues to take up the vaccine but warned compulsion was “a blunt instrument that carries its own risks”.

The group added: “While some healthcare workers are already required to be immunised against certain conditions to work in certain areas, any specific proposal for the compulsory requirement for all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 would raise new ethical and legal implications.”

Why is the vaccine becoming compulsory for care home staff?

Take up of the vaccine across the board has been low in some areas, with rates of vaccine take up as low as nearly 65 percent in some parts of London.

In April, the Government said 47 percent of care homes in England for older people had more than a fifth of staff yet to take up the vaccine.

Liz Truss said: “We need to make sure we get the balance right but I’m sure people appreciate that protecting lives is the absolute priority.”

Some vaccines are compulsory in some areas – for example, doctors are required to have the Hepatitis B vaccine in the UK.

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What is the difference between mandatory and compulsory?

While mandatory and compulsory both have similar meanings, they are slightly different.

If something is deemed compulsory, it means it needs to be done without delay, regardless of other factors.

If something is mandatory, it is bound to a certain premise and is a necessary requirement for something else to be done.

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