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NHS staff protest mandatory Covid vaccines outside Queen’s Hospital

Healthcare workers are urging the government to protect the NHS 

NHS staff are protesting mandatory COVID vaccinations outside Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

The Government has made it a legal requirement for all NHS workers to have had two doses of a vaccine by the start of April.

Last week, Time 107.5FM reported more than 1,000 members of staff at Queen’s and King George hospitals could be fired or redeployed if they do not have a vaccine by that date. 

Both hospitals are run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) which said it has “no discretion over the implementation of the regulations and the Government has made it clear it intends to enforce the law”. 

This sign was situated next to entrance to Queen’s

Colette Green is a musculoskeletal physiotherapist within the trust, she explained why she was at the protest, “We’re here to fight for our right to body autonomy and informed consent, to try and stop the mandate. 

She also told us why she has chosen not to take the vaccine, “I’ve done my own risk benefit analysis on myself based on my age, health status and the fact that I have already had COVID I’ve decided it’s not the right choice for me.”

Another member of staff, Patricia, joined the protest straight after she completed a 12 hour overnight-shift.

One of the many signs being held aloft at Queen’s hospital

She had a message for the politicians who are proposing the mandate, “They need to come and walk the floor first, they need to actually work in the NHS to truly understand what is going on.”

NHS staff were joined at the protest by members of the public, one person in support said, “I think that the mandate is wrong as the vaccine doesn’t stop people from getting and actually transmitting the disease.” 

Chief executive, Matthew Trainer, said: “I understand the concerns some NHS workers have about mandatory vaccines. We are approaching all our unvaccinated staff with compassion and respect.

“The vast majority of my colleagues have been vaccinated. I want this to be the case for all staff, as not doing so puts you at greater risk of serious illness and death.

“We are working with individuals to listen to their worries, address their concerns and encourage them to choose to have the vaccine.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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