The Health Secretary has hit out at people who have chosen not to be vaccinated against coronavirus as they “take up hospital beds” that could be used for patients in need.
Sajid Javid criticised those who are eligible for a jab but have decided not to take up the offer, saying they are having a “damaging impact” on others.
He said 10% of the eligible population – more than five million people – still had not received their jabs, and around nine out of 10 of those needing the most care in hospital were unvaccinated.
They take up hospital beds that could have been used for someone with maybe a heart problemHealth Secretary Sajid Javid
Speaking on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky News, he said: “I just cannot emphasise enough the impact that they are having on the rest of society.
“They must really think about the damage they are doing to society by… they take up hospital beds that could have been used for someone with maybe a heart problem, or maybe someone who is waiting for elective surgery.
“But instead of protecting themselves and protecting the community they choose not to get vaccinated.
“They are really having a damaging impact and I just can’t stress enough, please do come forward and get vaccinated.”
Figures based on data from the UK’s health agencies for vaccinations delivered up to December 5, showed that of the 57.5 million people in the UK aged 12 and over and therefore eligible for a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, 51.1 million had received one jab (89%) while 6.4 million (11%) had not.
Across the four UK nations as of that date, Scotland had the lowest proportion of eligible people still unvaccinated (9%), followed by Wales (10%), England (11%) and Northern Ireland (14%).
Some people are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, such as those with severe allergies to all currently available jabs, and can apply for a medical exemption.