FILE PHOTO: A dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is prepared at COVID-19 vaccination centre in the Odeon Luxe Cinema in Maidstone, Britain February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) reaffirmed its view that Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for health and care staff should not be made mandatory.

In its response to the government consultation on mandatory vaccination for health and care staff in England, RPS said: “We actively and strongly encourage all pharmacists to take advantage of the Covid-19 programme and to get vaccinated unless there is a medical reason why they are unable to.”

However, it opposed making the jab a mandatory condition, saying, “informed and educated choices about health interventions are more beneficial long-term than enforcing them.”

At the same time, it encouraged all pharmacy teams to take the necessary vaccines to protect themselves, patients and the wider community.

“We consider this to be best practice and within the GPhC standards for pharmacy professionals where pharmacists should make the care of the person their first concern and act in their best interests.”

Over 92 per cent of NHS staff have already received their first Covid vaccine and 89 per cent have received their second dose.

RPS’s view on the topic is supported by the result of a recently conducted snapshot survey.

The survey conducted by the RPS in partnership with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, showed no significant majority for or against vaccination.

Of the 2,211 respondents, 53 per cent supported making vaccinations mandatory while 47 per cent did not.

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