"It's personal choice at the end of the day" - Readers' discuss whether health and social care should be required to have the Covid jab

Last week it was reported that the government was in talks over plans to make a mandatory vaccination a rule for all frontline staff.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 9:58 am
BRIDPORT, ENGLAND - MARCH 20: Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine and syringe are seen at the medical centre on March 20, 2021 in Bridport, England. Bridport Medical Centre aims to administer a record 2,500 vaccinations in one day with vaccinators coming from medical centres including Lyme, Charmouth and Beaminster. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

We asked our readers for their thoughts and whether they felt that it should be a requirement of all health and social care staff that come into contact with patients, here are a selection of their comments:

Naturally there was quite the split in opinions, with a number of people firmly against there being a mandatory requirement to have the jab.

Rachael Beer shared her thoughts, saying; “Absolutely NOT!! Children who's parents decided not to vaccinate them were not denied a school place! So I don't know how you can deny people a job because they don't want the vaccine. It's personal choice at the end of the day.” This was a viewpoint shared by a number of our readers, who agreed with Rachael’s take.

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One of the most popular comments came courtesy of Paul Martin, who responded with the following quote from Ian Watson, which said; "If you have to be persuaded, reminded, pressured, lied to, incentivized, coerced, bullied, socially shamed, guilt-tripped, threatened, punished and criminalized... If all of this is considered necessary to gain your compliance - you can be absolutely certain that what is being promoted is not in your best interest."

Donna Moore wrote, “What I don't understand is the vaccine doesn't stop you from getting covid, it simply lessens the symptoms. So if those who have had the vaccine have so much faith in it, then why are they so scared and worried about those who don't want it. Surely an unvaccinated person will show symptoms sooners.” Most vaccines do not halt the illness, disease or infection, Donna. They are designed to lessen the impact or mitigate its effects.

And Denise Granger said, “No, no one should be forced we’ve been controlled enough over the past year and half” — unprecedented times do call for a stern response. Historically people have had to isolate or simply stay indoors whenever there has been such pandemics, The Black Plague being one of note in this country alone. We haven’t really had such riotous outbreaks in this country since, thankfully. But yes, the relinquishing of rights has affected people in various ways. This response resulted in many people agreeing with Denise’s thoughts on the matter.

Sarah Claus kept it simple and to the point, “No, nothing should be mandatory, it's personal choice”, and quite a few agreed with her there.

Not everyone was against the idea, in fact they supported the plan. Case in point being Lynne Johnson, who said; “Hell yeah. Sorry folks. I know y ‘all think vaccine is a choice but personally I’m sick of hearing about all the unvaccinated people taking up beds in the ITU. Wish to God I was kidding.”

Janet Andrew replied saying; “Of course or we will always have this virus, How can any health staff continue to work near ill people, or the elderly,or anybody when there is a chance of them having the virus. Nobody will want to enter hospitals to be treated. It's common sense.” The response to this certainly split people’s opinions, with as many agreeing with Janet as those who disagreed.

Eugene Solomon’s response was short and to the point, “In a healthcare context - yes.”

Sally Davidson responded saying, “Of course. And unless there are really clear, medically confirmed reasons otherwise for particular individuals, they should be mandatory for everyone else too.”

Jenny Allen added her thoughts, “Yes, protecting themselves and more importantly those they care for.”

Lally B on Twitter said, “Yes. Just like all the other vaccinations you have to get. If you care, truly care, about the patients you protect them with all measures available. Not to mention you are risking your life unnecessarily as well.”

Many of the responses (whether ‘for’ or ‘against’) responded with the mention of ‘choice’, the larger concern from many of those who responded was that having the vaccine is a choice and this rule or requirement would remove that choice element. Something that people take an issue with. The fact that there is the public statement that having the jab is up to the individual but various requirements are seemingly being implemented to coerce people to get a vaccination they’re unsure of, and that seems to be where the big issue is for many.