Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Do not make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory

Do not under any circumstances make vaccination against Covid-19 a requirement for the public. To coerce in the form of fines or otherwise, as is being proposed in Austria, would be a grotesque violation of bodily autonomy.

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Anyone's body is not the property of the government. The Government must not make medical decisions for people without their explicit consent. This is a fundamental human right.

It doesn't matter how dangerous a virus is. We believe a government forcing people to get injections sets a far, far more dangerous precedent.

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Government responded

This response was given on 30 December 2021

The United Kingdom operates a system of informed consent for vaccinations. We are encouraging people to get vaccinated to reduce serious illness, reduce pressure on hospitals and reduce deaths.

The United Kingdom operates a system of informed consent for vaccinations. We are not forcing anyone to take the vaccine, but we must ensure the safety of the people most at risk from COVID-19 in our society as our first priority.

It is a general legal and ethical principle that valid consent must be obtained from an individual before they receive the COVID-19 vaccination as would be the case before starting any other treatment or physical intervention.

For consent to receive the vaccine to be valid, it must be given by an appropriately informed person with capacity who is acting voluntarily and who has given consent to receiving the vaccine freely without undue pressure or coercion.

We are encouraging people to get vaccinated to reduce serious illness, reduce deaths and reduce pressure on hospitals

Throughout the pandemic we have had to take difficult decisions balancing individual choices against the wider risks to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It is the professional responsibility of all those who can have the vaccine to take it in order to safely work with people most at risk from COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of deployment for frontline health and social care and care home staff is not a mandatory vaccination policy, it is a condition that applies to anyone entering these high-risk care home settings or working directly with patients. Prior to the pandemic, workplace health and safety and occupational health policies were already in place which required the Hepatitis B vaccine for those deployed to undertake exposure prone procedures.

The UK COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan (published Feb 13), aims to improve uptake across all communities. A copy is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-uptake-plan/uk-covid-19-vaccine-uptake-plan. The plan sets out the government’s approach to making sure everyone has the opportunity to get vaccinated and have the information they need to make an informed decision.

Working together with the NHS and UK Health Service Authority (UKHSA), the Department of Health and Social Care is providing advice and information at every possible opportunity to support those getting the vaccine and to anyone who might have questions about the vaccination process. This includes the benefits and potential risks.

The UKHSA and the University of Cambridge MRC Biostatistics Unit previously reported on the direct and indirect impact of the vaccination programme on infections and mortality. Estimates suggest that 127,500 deaths and 24,144,000 infections have been prevented as a result of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, up to 24 September.

Vaccines are now safer than ever before. Any vaccine must first go through the usual rigorous testing and development process and meet strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness before it can be deployed.

Each COVID-19 vaccine candidate is assessed by teams of scientists and clinicians on a case by case basis and is only authorised once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality set by the medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

There are extensive checks and balances required by law at every stage of the development of a vaccine. The data looked at includes all the results from laboratory studies, clinical trials, manufacturing and quality controls and testing of the product. The public should be very confident that all tests were completed to the very highest standards.

Department of Health and Social Care

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