The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid has admitted that making Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations mandatory is unethical and would not work.

Javid made this admission during an interview with the BBC. “My view is that it’s unethical and also at a practical level it wouldn’t work,” he said.

“If you’re asking me about universal mandatory vaccination, as some countries in Europe have said they will do, at a practical level I just don’t think it would work. Getting vaccinated has to be a positive choice.”

In a separate interview, Javid said he has “no interest in mandatory vaccinations.” But he added that he is willing to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for people who are regularly exposed to “high-risk” settings, including employees of the National Health Service, social care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Javid said the government is already prepared to legislate this requirement. 

British prime minister says vaccines necessary to get rid of COVID-19 restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a “national conversation” on how to deal with the U.K.’s unvaccinated population.

Johnson said he does not want to turn the U.K. into a society that forces people to get vaccinated. “I didn’t want us to have a society and a culture where we force people to get vaccinated,” he said. “I don’t think that’s ever been the way we do things in this country.”

But he also admitted that he believes mandatory vaccinations are the only way to make sure that COVID-19 restrictions can be permanently repealed.

“I think there is going to come a point, if we can show that the vaccines are capable of holding [the post-vaccine variant] omicron – and that is the key thing we need to test – I do think we need to have a national conversation about ways in which we deal with this pandemic,” said Johnson.

“I don’t believe we can keep going indefinitely with non-pharmaceutical interventions, restrictions on people’s way of life, just because a substantial portion of the population still sadly has not got vaccinated.”

A spokesperson later clarified Johnson’s statement, saying that government ministers are focusing on developing therapeutic interventions against COVID-19 and its subsequent variants – including vaccinations and non-vaccine therapeutics like antiviral medication.

“We recognize how challenging this is, and disheartening for the public to see us having to introduce further restrictions, albeit at a relatively limited level,” said the spokesman. “And so we will do everything possible to continue to be at the cutting edge of this work. I think he was clear that he didn’t want us to have a society and culture where we forced people to get vaccinated.”

Strong opposition to vaccine mandate within UK government

This hint that the government may enact mandatory vaccinations caused many members of parliament (MP) in the Conservative Party to revolt openly.

MP Peter Bone from England’s East Midlands region called the idea “completely outrageous” during an interview with BBC. “I’d be the first to say the PM should go” if it were implemented, he said.

MP Alexander Stafford from the northern English region of Yorkshire said he “cannot and will not support mandatory vaccinations.”

Multiple members of Johnson’s cabinet have also quietly expressed opposition to the proposal.

“Everyone agrees it’s not the way forward,” said one member of the government who spoke with British mainstream media outlet The Telegraph.

“You would think it was only people like [Nazi doctor] Josef Mengele who would champion injecting people against their will,” said another government insider. “This is fascist nonsense and should be shunned by any freedom-loving man or woman in this country.”

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