Unvaccinated NHS staff 'worried' about being sacked for refusing to get Covid jab

ITV Central News Reporter Sarah Kilburn-Wilson spoke to two NHS staff in Worcestershire who could lose their jobs unless they get vaccinated

Two NHS workers from Droitwich say they are "heartbroken" and face losing their jobs, as the health service prepares to fire unvaccinated workers.

From April, NHS staff who have refused to take a Covid vaccination could face the sack under plans drawn up by the government.

Mirren Brewer, a 38-year-old medical secretary from Worcester, is one of some 73,000 staff who may lose their jobs in April.

"I don't feel there's enough evidence to show it will be beneficial to other people if we had it," she told ITV News Central.

"My husband also works for the trust, so it looks like we're both going to lose our jobs," she said.

"We live pay check to pay check, so for us this is a massive worry, it's a massive amount of stress and anxiety."

'I'm 100% not going to be having the vaccination so if this goes ahead I will lose my job,' Mirren Brewer says

Ms Brewer said she is anxious about potential side effects, and pointed out that she has antibodies against the virus as she has had it before.

However, it is possible to be reinfected even if you have previously had Covid.

Asked if not having the vaccination was worth losing her job over, she replied: "I feel that your health is something that you can’t put a price on.

“I want to be able to say to my children that I fought for their freedoms, in the future.

“I’m 100 per cent not getting the vaccination so if this goes ahead I will lose my job and yes it will be worth sacrificing the sense that I will know that I stood by my principles.”

The new vaccination rules for NHS workers come into effect from March 31, but due to the waiting time between first and second jabs NHS staff will have to have their first jab by February 3, to count as fully vaccinated by then.

Ms Brewer is not the only NHS worker ITV Central has spoken to who does not wish to be vaccinated.

Dr Anna Wilkin, who is a psychiatrist on the Home Treatment team and works with people suffering from mental health problems at home, said she is not vaccinated too.

"It wasn't put across to me that catching Covid - any of the variants - was likely to result in me becoming either seriously unwell, requiring a hospital admission; let alone requiring ITU [Intensive Care Units] and dying."

"I would never do anything to put my patients at risk," Dr Wilkin says

Dr Wilkin said: "I haven't yet seen any clear evidence that I present more of a risk to my patients as an unvaccinated member of staff than vaccinated."

In a statement, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust told ITV Central: "We continue to encourage all our staff to protect themselves, their colleagues and our patients by making sure they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will do everything we can to support and reassure our staff who have any concerns."

"Our priority remains the safety of our patients and colleagues and I urge anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to get the jab as soon as possible," it adds.

The government has issued guidance that vaccination is the best protection against Covid.