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Covid booster mandate rejected by readers despite infection rates rise

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Covid booster vaccines should not be made mandatory, a new poll of readers has found. Since the Covid booster campaign began a month ago, seven million Britons have had their vaccine. In August, it was reported that 26 million people in England will be eligible to receive their autumn booster as the nation is warned of a potential “twindemic” of flu and coronavirus.

Chief executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, said that the booster rollout is “off to a flying start”, adding that it is vital to get protected ahead of what could be an “extremely challenging winter for the NHS”.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “The double threat of widely circulating flu and Covid this year is a real concern, so it’s crucial that you take up the free flu vaccine as soon as possible if you are offered it.

“It will help protect you from severe flu this winter, and even save your life. All those over 50 are now eligible for the jab, many of which will have low natural immunity due to Covid restrictions over the last two years.”

In a poll that ran from midday on Tuesday, October 4, to 3pm on Thursday, October 13, asked readers: “Should boosters be mandatory this winter as Covid cases soar?” 

A total of 18,919 people cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 95 percent (17,966 people) answering “no”, Covid booster vaccines should not be mandatory.

A further five percent (898 people) said “yes” they should, while just 55 people said they were unsure.

In the hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article, readers shared their thoughts on mandatory vaccination.

One reader, username PaulJackson said: “This shouldn’t even be open to debate. It would be a terrible violation of people’s freedoms to make vaccination mandatory.” 

Another, username Cammy1689, said: “We live in a democracy.” 

Username ValBrooker wrote: “No vaccine should be mandatory, especially ones that have not been trial tested over an extended period.”

Username Scotlandfirst said: “Not at all, making any vaccine mandatory should never be allowed to happen.”


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And username dizzy11 said: “No medical intervention should be mandatory EVER.” 

Meanwhile, username watchereyes said: “Mandatory? No. Available? Yes. People should make up their own minds.”

Overall, up to and including October 2, a total of 33,613,297 people in England have had a booster or third dose of a vaccine.

From Friday, October 14, everyone over 50 will be able to book their Covid booster and flu jabs online.

Dr Susan HopkinsioExperts have warned that people who feel unwell should avoid visiting friends, family and colleagues as a precautionary measure to prevent further spreading.

Dr Hopkins also said: “If you are unwell, it is particularly important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who are more likely to have severe disease.”

In the week ending October 7, ONS data shows that one in 50 people in England was infected– up from one in 65 the previous week.

The UKHSA said that suspected outbreaks across England had increased by 60 percent in a week.

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