Sajid Javid Calls Mandatory Vaccination 'Ethically Wrong' Amid Omicron Spread
13:50 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that COVID vaccination may eventually become compulsory in case a "substantial proportion of the population" remains unvaccinated.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has spoken against mandatory vaccinations for everyone, apart from vulnerable people belonging to so-called high-risk groups.
"...I've got no interest in mandatory vaccinations, apart from in high-risk settings in the NHS and social care, which we've already set out that we will legislate for...Other than that, if you talk about universal mandatory vaccination, I think ethically it is wrong but also, at a very practical level, it just wouldn't work. Getting vaccinated has to be a positive decision," Javid said in an interview with Sky News.
He stressed, however, that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 infection has been spreading more quickly than the previous variants and could result in about one million infections in the UK by the end of December.
"I hope that most people will understand that by taking some decisive action now, we can potentially avoid action later," Javid went on to say during the interview.
On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that coronavirus vaccination may eventually become compulsory in the country in case a "substantial proportion of the population" remains unvaccinated.
He added that the government was now heading towards Plan B to reimpose working from home in England, as well as compulsory indoor mask-wearing and entry to nightclubs and cinemas only for those with COVID passes. Wales and Scotland recently introduced vaccine passports for concerts and nightclubs.
More than five million people, that is 12% of the British population, has not yet had their first COVID jab, health authorities said.