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UK’s Covid cases fall by just 2% in a week and deaths and admissions drop too

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Daily coronavirus infections in the UK fell for the eighth day in a row today while deaths and hospital admissions also seen a downturn.

There were 33,117 new Covid cases across the country in the last 24 hours, the Department of Health said, marking a small 2 per cent fall on last week. Infections have dropped week-on-week on all but one day since October 24.

Another 262 Covid deaths were also registered, a 11 per cent decrease compared to the number last Tuesday. Latest hospital data shows that there were 834 admissions on November 5, down 17 per cent in a week.

The country is believed to be enjoying a spell of high natural immunity following a summer in which there was very high transmission. Booster vaccines and strong protection in younger groups from the original two-dose rollout are contributing to the falling case numbers, experts say. 

It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed all frontline NHS workers in England will need to be fully-vaccinated against Covid by April 1 or they will be sacked.

Announcing the controversial policy in the Commons, the Health Secretary said it was the ‘first duty’ of everyone working in the NHS to ‘avoid preventable harm to people that they care for’.  

But he has been warned by unions and fellow Tory MPs that there could be a mass exodus of staff now, with 100,000 workers in England still not vaccinated.  

Announcing the controversial policy in the Commons, the Health Secretary said it was the ‘first duty’ of everyone working in the health service to ‘avoid preventable harm to people that they care for’ because they ‘carry a unique responsibility’. 

Mr Javid said the ‘scales clearly tipped to one side’ in favour of compulsory jabs following a Government consultation. He claimed the measure had the blessing of NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard.

‘I’m not having a Covid vaccine, I’m going to become a dog trainer’: Nurses threaten to quit over NHS ‘no jab, no job’ rule 

Unvaccinated NHS staff today threatened to revolt over No10’s ‘ethically wrong’ vaccine mandate which will force all frontline workers to get two Covid jabs by April or face the sack. 

One trainee nurse blasted the ‘no jab, no job’ policy as a ‘kick in the teeth’ today after working tirelessly on wards through almost two years of the pandemic.

Ryan Balment, 38, was set to graduate as a nurse in two years, but says he will now become a dog trainer. The Devon-based hospital worker told MailOnline: ‘I would rather leave the health service than be told to have something that I don’t know is 100 per cent effective.’

And a nurse, writing anonymously in a blog, said she wanted ‘no part’ in the health service if it forced people to be vaccinated. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed today that all frontline NHS staff — including doctors, nurses, receptionists and cleaners — will need to get two doses of the Covid vaccine by April or lose their jobs.

But unions slammed the policy as ‘heavy-handed’ and said it will only worsen the ‘crushing’ staffing crisis, while experts said it could ‘backfire’ and lead many to be less likely to get the vaccine.

Tory MP Mark Harper warned tens of thousands of NHS staff are likely to quit on the back of the move.

Some 103,000 NHS employees — equivalent to eight per cent of the workforce — are yet to get a single dose of the Covid vacicne despite being eligible since last December. It’s not clear how many unvaccinated are frontline, and how many are ‘medically exempt’.

The move brings the NHS into line with care homes, where employees have until Thursday to get two doses of the Covid vaccine or be made redundant. Unions warned care sites — which are already dealing with 100,000 vacancies — face a mass exodus. 

Defending the Government’s stance this morning, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said vulnerable people being treated in hospitals and care homes deserved to be ‘properly protected’.

Mr Sajid concluded: ‘We must avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS and of course protect the NHS itself.’

All workers who come into contact with patients — including medics as well as cleaners, porters and receptionists — will be required to have both Covid jabs by April 1 or lose their job.

Mr Javid said around 103,000 staff — eight per cent of the entire workforce in England — still haven’t had their first jab, despite being eligible since last December. It’s not clear exactly how many unvaccinated are ‘frontline’ or how many are medically exempt.

The health service already had around 100,000 vacancies before Covid struck, including a shortfall of 10,000 doctors and 35,000 nurses. 

Trade union GMB warned the ‘heavy-handed’ policy will only worsen the ‘crushing’ staffing crisis, while Tory MP Mark Harper warned tens of thousands of NHS staff are likely to quit on the back of the move. Unvaccinated staff have already confessed they will leave because of the ‘ethically wrong’ mandate.

Mr Javid told MPs the decision to make Covid jabs compulsory for NHS staff did not mean the Government does not recognise concerns about ‘workforce pressures’ this winter.

Some trusts preempted the Government’s announcement when the direction of travel became clear. Officials at Southampton General Hospital ordered frontline workers in September to get vaccinated or face the sack. 

Nationally, only the Covid vaccine will be compulsory with the flu jab strongly recommended but not required for staff on hospital wards. Mr Javid was urged by his predecessors Jeremy Hunt and Matt Hancock to also make the influenza shot a requirement of employment but he said he was ‘not convinced’ it was necessary yet. 

The move will bring the NHS in line with care homes, where employees have until Thursday to get their second Covid jab or face the sack. Unions warned care sites — which are also dealing with 100,000 vacancies — face the same mass exodus.

Critics have blasted the ‘heavy-handed’ plans, warning they are neither ‘necessary nor proportionate’ given that more than 90 per cent of health workers have already been double-jabbed. This is significantly higher than the 80 per cent uptake rate in the adult population. 

Defending the Government’s stance this morning, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said vulnerable people being treated in hospitals and care homes deserved to be ‘properly protected’. 

One trainee nurse blasted the ‘no jab, no job’ policy as a ‘kick in the teeth’ today after working tirelessly on wards through almost two years of the pandemic.

Ryan Balment, 38, was set to graduate as a nurse in two years, but says he will now become a dog trainer. The Devon-based hospital worker told MailOnline: ‘I would rather leave the health service than be told to have something that I don’t know is 100 per cent effective.’

And a nurse, writing anonymously in a blog, said she wanted ‘no part’ in the health service if it forced people to be vaccinated. 

Mr Balment is a trainee nurse working on mental health wards at a hospital in Devon, but has been in healthcare for almost 20 years doing jobs including deliveries and helping people with eating disorders. 

He said he has never had Covid, but has always made sure to observe social distancing, PPE and cleansing rules to avoid catching or spreading the virus to others. 

A trainee nurse has said they would rather become a dog trainer than get the Covid vaccine. Ryan Balment, 38, (left) told MailOnline he was currently training to be a nurse but would not get the vaccine. He is on wards at a hospital in the South West

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said today frontline NHS staff will need to get two doses of the Covid jab by April

A trainee nurse has said they would rather become a dog trainer than get the Covid vaccine. Ryan Balment, 38, (left) told MailOnline he was currently training to be a nurse but would not get the vaccine. He is on wards at a hospital in the South West. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said today frontline NHS staff will need to get two doses of the Covid jab by April

Slamming forcing NHS staff to have two doses of the Covid vaccine, he said: ‘I am quite disappointed because I feel that I have worked throughout the pandemic and a lot of people I know have worked throught the pandemic.

Making Covid vaccines compulsory ISN’T best method of improving uptake, data shows 

ONS data showed wanting to protect yourself and others from Covid was the biggest motivator to get jabbed among un-vaccinated Britons

ONS data showed wanting to protect yourself and others from Covid was the biggest motivator to get jabbed among un-vaccinated Britons

Compulsory Covid vaccines are not the best way to boost jab uptake, a survey revealed today. 

An Office for National Statistics survey of 4,000 people asked un-vaccinated Britons what could motivate them to get their shots.

Respondents said protecting themselves and others from Covid was the most likely reason they would get the vaccine at a later date (19 per cent gave this answer).

Helping restrictions ease and life to return to normal, and making it easier to go on holiday (16 per cent) was the second most likely motivator.

But being told by an employer they needed the shots to keep working for them dropped to the third most likely motivator (13 per cent).

It was at the same level as being offered a voucher was to get vaccinated (also 13 per cent). 

Frontline NHS workers will be required to get two doses of the Covid vaccine to keep their jobs from spring, reports suggested today.

Experts have warned this policy could ‘backfire’ by making vaccine resistant employees less likely to get the jab and health chiefs say it could spark a mass exodus of employees. 

‘To suddenly be told that unless you have this vaccine we are not going to keep you employed, you are no longer of value, it is a bit of a kick in the teeth.’

He said the mandate was more likely to push NHS staff to ‘rebel against’ being vaccinated than take up the jabs.

Asked what he would do if ministers followed through on their threat to sack unvaccinated staff, he said: ‘I recently set up a company on the basis that this [compulsory vaccination] was going to happen, which is dog training with my partner so we are looking at going down that route. I felt like it was needed so that we had an option there to fall back on.’

Mr Balment said he was not an anti-vaxxer, but that he was worried about getting the jab because it had only recently been developed. 

An unvaccinated hospital porter in the Midlands, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline that he was not planning to get the Covid vaccine.

He said about 10 per cent of the workers on his team were still to be jabbed.

‘We had the clap for carers on Thursday evening and now we are being told that if we have not had a jab by April they will sack us,’ he said.

‘But if the situation was really that dire then why wait until April? It just feels like we will make use of you until April to get us through the winter, then discard you in the spring.’

He told MailOnline that today’s mandate would make him less likely to get the Covid jab.

‘You aren’t going to convince me by hardballing me,’ he said. ‘No one [in the NHS] has actually asked me if I’ve had it, and no one has tried to persuade me yet to have it.’

The porter said he was not aware that he had had Covid, but that he could have been asymptomatic because many people on his team previously had the disease.

He said he would not get the vaccine because he felt natural immunity would offer better protection against the virus. He added: ‘I have been lucky and never had any major problems with my own health, which is why I want to rely on my own natural immunity really.’

On the consultation regarding making vaccines mandatory for NHS staff, Mr Javid added: ‘I’ve carefully considered the responses and the evidence and I’ve concluded that the scales clearly tip to one side.

‘The weight of the data shows our vaccinations have kept people safe and they have saved lives.’

He added: ‘Allow me to be clear that no-one in the NHS or care that is currently unvaccinated should be scapegoated, singled out or shamed.

‘That would be totally unacceptable. This is about supporting them to make a positive choice to protect vulnerable people, to protect their colleagues. And of course to protect themselves.’

NHS staff can be exempt from the double-vaccine requirement if they have a medical reason, such as an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine or previously experienced a serious side-effect.

No similar proposals have been announced for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own policy on whether Covid vaccination is required. 



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