Ahead of debate in the House of Lords today on a new law requiring mandatory vaccination for staff in care homes, Kent Law School Professor Lydia Hayes and Professor Allyson Pollock (Newcastle Universtiy) have produced a briefing note arguing that the proposal is “unnecessary, disproportionate and misguided.”
The briefing follows an editorial co-authored by Professor Hayes and Professor Pollock that was published in the BMJ on 8 July 2021. This BMJ editorial was widely quoted in the House of Commons debate on the same regulatory amendment to the Health and Social Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
Professor Hayes said: ‘We continue to argue mandatory vaccination is unnecessary, disproportionate and misguided. This latest briefing shows that the data the Government is using is unreliable by its own assessment, that the measure will not make care homes safe but risk making them more unsafe through forced job losses – when vaccine update is very good indeed and not at all as the Government is portraying it. To introduce forced medical treatment (vaccination) overturns 120 years of legislation and liberty to vaccination by consent.’
Professor Hayes is Head of Kent Law School. She was appointed to report on Professionalisation of the Care Workforce by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Adult Social Care. She is funded by Wellcome Trust to research how regulation of care providers in England, Scotland and Wales impacts on the work of care workers, the conditions of care and the quality of care jobs. Her research on lack of occupational sick pay for care workers and regulatory breaches in care settings during the pandemic has been widely cited in Commons debates and press reports. She is author of the multi-award winning monograph Stories of Care: A Labour of Law (2017).
Professor Allyson Pollock is professor of public health. Recently she has been a member of the Independent SAGE, advising on covid-19 in the UK and was director of the Newcastle University Institute for Health and Society at the Medical school. Allyson’s research interests are in access to medicines and appropriate medicines use, and pharmaceutical regulation and regulatory science; the epidemiology of child and sports injury; public private partnerships and health systems; and long-term care.