A BOLTON MP has raised concerns over government plans to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for frontline NHS staff in England.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons there is no doubt health and social care staff “carry a unique responsibility” in the work they do and “we must avoid preventable harm”.

He said only those who do not have face-to-face contact with patients or who are medically exempt will not be required to have two doses of a Covid jab, with enforcement of the rule from April 1 next year.

Bolton West MP Chris Green fears compulsory vaccinations could trigger a "crisis" in health and social care for the NHS.

The Government has conceded the policy could have a “significant impact” on the health and care workforce, with estimates suggesting that as many as 123,000 could leave their jobs as a result.

Mr Green said: “Last November, Britain was on the verge of beginning her vaccine programme and, since then, we have seen 50m first doses, 45m second doses and 10m third doses injected.

“Ministers said that the vaccine programme is the way out of the pandemic but they have never said what their target is or when society can return to normal.

“It typically takes ten years to develop a single vaccine but we have a range of them and they are all effective against every variant of concern.

"The understanding of and ability to treat Covid-19 patients by intensive care doctors has advanced since the beginning and we have now approved new anti-viral drugs to treat people if they do fall ill.

“Why, therefore, has the Government triggered a crisis in social care with compulsory vaccinations whilst believing that there is no need to do the same in the NHS until April? Are Government ministers claiming to protect lives in care homes whilst allowing people to die in hospitals?

“The perverse logic of Government policy is that one group need and deserve protection and the other group does not and I will not support it.”