The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges firmly believes that all health and care staff should choose to be vaccinated. It is the right thing to do. For doctors, the GMC ‘Duties of a Doctor’ makes it clear that protecting oneself against infectious diseases is good for doctors and patients.

To date, the Academy’s position has been to not support mandatory vaccination for NHS staff whether for COVID-19 or the flu. The Academy Council endorsed this view at its meeting on 22 July 2021.

While we understand the rationale for mandating NHS staff vaccination, our view is that making any vaccination mandatory is not sensible or necessary.

The UK has been very successful in vaccinating staff with over 90% of NHS staff now vaccinated. We believe that in practical terms mandatory vaccinations will cause real difficulties with unnecessary disputes and arguments at local and National level. The danger is that individual arguments become a distraction from the core issues of getting as many of the population vaccinated as possible.

However, the opportunity for a consultation on the issue is welcome and the Academy will feed its considered views on behalf of its members as set out above into the consultation.