England's Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said he is “leaning towards” mandatory vaccination for NHS staff.
He told Sky News: “I’m leaning towards doing it.
“There’s around 100,000 that are not (vaccinated in the NHS) at this point but what we saw with the care sector is that when we announced the policy… then we saw many more people come forward and do the right thing and get vaccinated, that’s what I hope, if we can do the same thing with the NHS, we will see.
“If they haven’t got vaccinated by now then there is an issue about patient safety and that’s something the Government will take very seriously.”
Mr Javid declined to say when the move would come in to force, saying “it will take some time to get it through Parliament” and he would then want to give people time to come forward to get their jab.
But he added: “I don’t want to put a timeframe on it but it wouldn’t be months and months.”
Sajid Javid also criticised “idiots” who campaign against vaccines and spread lies and falsehoods outside schools.
He told Sky News: “These people are doing so much damage.
“First of all here you have three children that are injured, actually physically injured, and that’s heart-breaking to see, children going about what they should be doing, going to school every day, and you’ve got frankly these idiots outside their school spreading vicious lies.
“It is becoming a growing problem as time goes by.
“There are options, in terms of whether it’s an exclusion zone, or other potential action, I think it’s got to be done at a local level.
“If you’ve injured children, that is a criminal act and I hope in that case police are able to track those people down.”