Dissident Doctor 'Ecstatic' as Javid Revisits NHS 'No Jab, No Job' Rule
22:00 GMT 31.01.2022 (Updated: 15:18 GMT 28.05.2023)
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid's order to unvaccinated health and social care workers — to get the vaccine or lose their jobs — is opposed by several trade unions and some health care chiefs, who have warned it could create an unprecedented shortage of staff.
A doctor who refused to be vaccinated under the NHS vaccine mandate claimed vindication as the health secretary reportedly reconsidered the divisive rule.
Dr. Steve James, a critical care consultant at London's Kings College Hospital, confronted Sajid Javid
during the minister's visit three weeks earlier.
James asserted that he did not need what he referred to as an "experimental" vaccine, claiming, instead, that he had superior natural immunity from a previous infection of the virus, and suggesting that the "science isn't strong enough" to justify a 'no jab, no job' rule for health and social care workers.
The Daily Telegraph
quoted an anonymous source in government who offered that Javid would meet other ministers on the COVID Operations sub-committee of cabinet to finalise a decision to drop the much-criticised mandate.
The source cited the mild symptoms of the now-dominant Omicron variant of COVID-19 as a pretext for dropping the rule, set to be enforced beginning April 1, a move which some suggest could cause a staffing crisis, as one in 20 workers remain unvaccinated.
"Omicron has changed things," the insider reportedly said. 'When we first introduced the policy, it was Delta that was the dominant variant. That was very high risk in terms of how severe it was."
"For Omicron, while it is more transmissible, all the studies have shown it is less severe. That has changed the conversation about whether mandatory jabs are still proportionate," they added.
James told Talk Radio's Julia Hartley-Brewer on Monday that he was "ecstatic" at the possibility of a reported U-turn, calling it "a recognition that the mandate is wrong and was wrong."
"It was wrong to apply it to care home staff when Delta was predominant, and it's still wrong to apply it, even more wrong to apply it now with Omicron," the consultant suggested.
"They've never won the argument that it's a good thing for the NHS practically, they've never won the moral argument, they know that the staff were against it from the beginning and the public have been against it was well, and the scientific argument has got weaker and weaker," James added.
Britain's biggest health care trade union, UNISON, has opposed the vaccine mandate
, while some public health chiefs and industry leaders
have warned against losing members of the workforce.
"There were always two risks to manage here: the risk of Covid cross-infection in health care settings and the consequences of losing staff if significant numbers choose not to be vaccinated," said Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers.
31 January 2022, 00:19 GMT
"I never thought I would need to be vaccinated," James told Sky News' Kay Burley. "I always thought healthy people wouldn't be offered the vaccine; it was going to go to vulnerable people."
He said the vaccine was "still in experimental trial stages" and "has side effects that are not really clearly talked about at present," warning that "people are concerned that they are higher than are being shared."
"It isn't very effective at stopping serious disease in a healthy population, because a healthy population doesn't very get serious disease from COVID," James asserted.
"I will not be having a vaccination, not unless the entire landscape of COVID and the vaccine changes," he said, insisting that "vaccine mandates are wrong."
James hailed the news in a social media video post when it broke on Sunday night.