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The Government has reserved the right to make a coronavirus vaccine mandatory. Speaking on talkRadio Mr Hancock said: “I hope that a very large proportion of people will want to take the vaccine because it’s the right thing to do. We are not proposing at this stage to make it mandatory.”
Then the Health Secretary was pressed on whether he would rule out making the vaccine compulsory.
He said: “I have learned not to rule things out during this pandemic because you have to watch what happens and you have to make judgments accordingly.”
Mr Hancock then said there were “complications” around making it mandatory.
He explained that some people may not be able to use it because of medical reasons.
Downing Street also refused to rule out making the vaccine compulsory.
Officials stressed making the vaccine mandatory was not in the Government’s plan.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “We want as many people as possible to take the vaccine.
“It will go through rigorous safety checks before it is cleared for use.
“But we are not proposing to make it mandatory.”
The spokesperson was then asked if people that refuse to take the vaccine will be penalised, such as restrictions on their travel.
The spokesperson replied: “We are not proposing to make it mandatory.”
In Wales Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said compulsory vaccination is “the most extreme and most unlikely outcome possible”.
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Speaking to a press conference Mr Gething said a vaccine was “certainly not any part of our working assumption” in Wales.
He said he is “deeply sceptical” about the benefits of compulsory vaccination.
He also added that he was not “particularly keen to try to change the law for that to happen”.
He said: “I’m interested that people understand the evidence about the safety of a vaccine, then making the right choice to protect them, their family and their community.”
This news comes as US pharmaceutical firm Moderna has developed a vaccine that is 94.5 percent effective against the deadly pathogen.
This is compared to the recent Pfizer vaccine that the Government has ordered in bulk that is 90 percent effective.
There is some doubt the new vaccines may not be effective against the new mink-variant of Covid-19 that has emerged in Denmark.
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