Bristol carer working in Lidl after refusing to get Covid vaccine

10-11-21 Ruslana Mironova  at the Harbourside in Bristol-BPM Media/Bristol Live
Ruslana Mironova has worked as a carer for more than a decade. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

A Bristol-based woman who worked as a carer for 15 years has quit her job after refusing to have the Covid vaccine.

Ruslana Mironova, who now works in Lidl, is warning of a staffing shortage across the health sector due to front-line workers needing to be fully vaccinated.

Rules were announced in June mean carers had to be double vaccinated by September or they would not be able to continue working in their jobs. New legislation enforcing the rule comes into force on Thursday 11 November.

Meanwhile, NHS staff have been given until April 1 next year to be double jabbed.

The 46-year-old said: "I'm very disappointed. It’s very sad.

“I’ve worked as a carer for 15 years, and it is a job that I love. It should be our choice whether to have the vaccination or not.

"I worked through the pandemic when at the start they were sending patients out of hospitals without testing them and they had Covid and we weren’t given the right PPE.

"The Government didn’t think much about the safety of patients or carers then. I care about the people I care for, and I’m really disappointed with the Government, not with my managers - they have no choice either.

"I am not afraid of speaking out on this. It’s not fair for the 30,000 carers who have left their job and it’s not fair for the people being cared for - there is already a shortage of carers and NHS staff and now the Government is creating an even bigger problem”.

Since leaving her job back in September, Ruslana said she looked for work in the NHS before taking the job at Lidl.

Ruslana says she is not an an anti-vaxxer but is worried about how quickly the Covid jab has been developed. Credit: BPM Media/Bristol Live

“I am not an anti-vaxxer. I have had all the other vaccines all my life," she added.

"I have the flu jab every year. That’s a vaccine that has been developed over many years and is shown to be safe."

While the health authorities and medical experts in the UK have confirmed coronavirus vaccines are safe and have been through the same rigorous testing as other vaccines, Ruslana says she remains concerned.

She said her 20-year-old daughter went into anaphylactic shock after having the vaccine in September - a reaction which is incredibly rare.

Covid vaccines drastically reduce the chances, if a vaccinated person does catch Covid-19 of the virus leading to hospitalisation or death.The Health Secretary has said Covid vaccine mandate for care staff has had an impact on takeup.

Since it was announced in June, with a September cut-off, the numbers of unvaccinated care staff in England has dropped from 88,000 to 32,000, he told Parliament.

But Ruslana said she fears for the care industry now.

She said: “I feel all this with my heart. The problem is that now the Government are creating an even bigger staffing shortage. Before the care homes were struggling, no one is talking about this,” she added.