Closed petition Prevent any restrictions on those who refuse a Covid-19 vaccination
I want the Government to prevent any restrictions being placed on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine. This includes restrictions on travel, social events, such as concerts or sports. No restrictions whatsoever.
You cannot force someone to have a vaccination, and should not be able to coerce them into it by way of restrictions. We have to the right to assess the risk ourselves as we have done in the past.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
Parliament debated this topic
This topic was debated on 14 December 2020
This response was given on 11 September 2020
There are currently no plans to place restrictions on those who refuse to have any potential Covid-19 vaccine.
After clean water, vaccination is the most effective and crucial public health intervention, and a cornerstone of public health that we must not take for granted. It is vital that a significant proportion of people who are offered take up a Covid-19 vaccine in order to protect themselves as well as other vulnerable individuals. Averting a second wave is a key priority for the government and high take up of a vaccine when available will greatly contribute to that.
Immunisations save thousands of lives every year by preventing outbreaks of serious infectious diseases and, in cases such as smallpox and polio, eliminating diseases in the UK altogether. Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1968, it is estimated that 20 million cases and 4,500 deaths have been averted in the UK. From 1970 to 2017, it is estimated that rubella vaccination has averted 1,300 babies being born with congenital rubella syndrome and 25,000 terminations. With further innovation and the development of new vaccines, even more lives could be saved.
We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to do the right thing for their own health, and for the benefit of the wider community. There are currently no plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine in a way that penalises those who do not take up the vaccine. However, the Government will carefully consider all options to improve vaccination rates, should that be necessary.
The UK has a world class national immunisation programme which is constantly reviewed and updated to reflect the changing nature of infectious diseases and provide the best protection for the public. All vaccines used in the UK are thoroughly tested, meet strict safety criteria and are carefully monitored after they are introduced into the national programme. Our evidence-based immunisation programmes are informed by the advice of our work leading expert committee – the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which reviews a wide range of scientific and other evidence, keeping the vaccine schedule safe and relevant.
Immunisation offers everyone a chance at a healthy life from the earliest beginnings and into old age. It saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions. High uptake of a Covid-19 vaccine is the best way we have, to protect our health, our jobs, and our economy at large.
Department of Health and Social Care
Other parliamentary business
Urgent Question asked in House of Commons about the covid-19 vaccine roll out
On Tuesday 8 December there was an Urgent Question to the Department of Health and Social Care on the covid-19 vaccine roll out.
You can watch the response from Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, and further questions on the topic here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/74eaa3df-fdae-42a3-b9bf-21a63dad3604?in=12:41:00&out=13:46:42
A transcript of the exchange is available here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-12-08
What is an Urgent Question?
If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.
Find out more about Urgent Questions here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/urgent-questions/
MPs investigate plans for Covid passports
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (a group of MPs who look into issues relating to the UK constitution and civil service) has published a report which calls for the Government to scrap any plans to introduce domestic Covid-status certification, also known as Covid passports.
The Government has suggested that such a system, based on proof of vaccination or a negative test result, could help manage the disease in future, allowing the economy to reopen and social restrictions to be lifted. It is currently undertaking a review into whether (and how) such a system could be introduced.
However, the MPs on the Committee said the Government had so far failed to make the scientific case in favour of the system, and raised concerns that such a system could “disproportionately discriminate” against people on the basis of their race, religion, age or socio-economic background. They concluded plans for Covid passports were "unnecessary" and "unjustified".
Read the report (HTML):
Read the report (PDF):
Read the Committee's press release:
The Government will respond to the Committee's report in the coming weeks.
What is the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee?
The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee examines constitutional issues, and the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments. It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.
Find out more on their website:
You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
Ministerial statement on covid-19 and covid-status certification
On Monday 5 July, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid MP gave a statement to the House of Commons on covid-19. The Secretary of State updated MPs on the Government's plans for social restrictions and guidance from 19 July.
He also announced the outcome of the Government's review of domestic covid-status certification, also known as 'covid passports'. The Secretary of State confirmed the Government will not mandate the use of covid-status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting, such as shops or events, at the present time.
Watch the statement here:
Read the Government's report on its covid-status certification review:
The Government's review concluded that there would be a public health benefit to covid-status certification, but that the burden of implementing such a system, to businesses and individuals not yet fully vaccinated, would be disproportionate to that benefit at this stage of the pandemic.
However, the Government has stated that individual organisations may make a discretionary choice to require covid-status certification (for example, via the NHS app) to help keep their premises safe, although the review has concluded that "essential services" should not do this.
The review also noted that the Government will keep the option of routine covid-status certification under review, and that certification could provide a means of keeping events going and businesses open if the country is facing a difficult situation in autumn or winter.
What are Ministerial statements?
Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House.
Find out more about them here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/statements/