Sajid Javid asked doctors about the new guidelines while visiting King's College Hospital in London.
Dr. Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist who has been treating Covid patients since the pandemic began, seized the chance to explain his concerns to Mr. Javid.
Dr James was displeased with the new rules.
‘I had COVID, I have antibodies, and I started working on Covid ICU,' he informed the health secretary.
‘I have not gotten a vaccination and do not want one.
‘The immunizations only reduce transmission for roughly eight weeks for Delta and Omicron.
‘And I wouldn't get a vaccine for that? The science is weak.'
‘I appreciate it, but there are many different viewpoints,' added Mr Javid.
We have to weigh all of that for both health and social care, and there will always be a dispute.
Dr. James stated he knew of a similar situation.
The health secretary should ‘nuance' the guidelines given the ‘changing picture' of the epidemic since Omicron emerged.
« Maybe with Omicron and the shifting picture, we may reconsider, or at least tone it, and let doctors who have antibody exposure, antibodies, but not been vaccinated avoid it, because my protection from transmission is probably similar to that of a vaccinee. »
But Mr Javid told him his protection will ‘wane'.
‘I appreciate your ideas, but more importantly, I respect what you do here and the lives you save,' Mr James said.
While it is not yet required for workers to obtain their COVID-19 immunisation or declare their vaccine status to patients, we firmly support and urge all our staff to get their jab, in line with national recommendations – and nearly 90% of our colleagues have already done so.'
A COVID vaccine booster or third dose is required for almost 60% of NHS personnel, according to recent NHS England data.
In December, MPs approved legislation requiring all NHS personnel who have direct patient contact to get vaccinated.
Staff must be completely vaccinated by April 1, so everyone who hasn't got their first jab must do so by then.