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Coronavirus news – live: NHS plans compulsory vaccination for staff as jabs cut hospital admissions by 76%

Rory Sullivan and Sam Hancock
·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A major NHS trust in London is planning to make Covid vaccinations a contractual requirement for all its staff, according to a leaked email seen by The Independent that also reveals other trusts may follow suit.

The letter to staff at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust, signed by the chief executive Lesley Watts, has not yet been sent to staff but has been shared with dozens of senior NHS bosses across London.

It said some of the trust’s 6,000 staff had “chosen” not to be vaccinated and urged them to change their mind. “We will need to take into account your vaccination status in your occupational risk assessment and this may impact the range of duties you undertake and indeed the environment in which you work,” the letter said.

Meanwhile, Covid vaccinations are thought to be alleviating pressure on hospitals by cutting emergency admissions among at-risk elderly patients by 76 per cent, research published on Wednesday has shown.

The University of Manchester study compared 170,000 vaccinated elderly patients, aged between 80 and 83-years-old, with unvaccinated 76 to 79-year-olds. The researchers found the level of emergency admissions were 76 per cent lower in the vaccinated groups, with the number of positive tests also 70 per cent lower 35 days after their first vaccination.

It also concluded that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were “effective at reducing Covid-19 hospitalisations and infections.”