A post on Facebook and Twitter showing a screenshot of an email sent from the office of MP Nadine Dorries has gone viral.
The email reads: “Thank you for writing to Nadine Dorries MP. I’m Nadine’s caseworker responding on her behalf.
“The Covid Vaccine will not be made mandatory. However, if you chose not to take the vaccine, then you will face short-term restrictions to prevent you infecting anyone else until society has achieved herd immunity.
Your fundamental rights to choose whether or not you take the vaccine do not include a right to endanger others.”
Although the email seems to genuinely be from the health minister’s office, according to a tweet she sent in response, she says the email was not signed off by her, isn’t government policy and was the mistake of a new staff member.
Her tweet said: “This correspondence was not signed off by me and does not reflect my view or government policy in any way. I apologise for any concern caused. New, young and very enthusiastic staff member!”
Honesty in public debate matters
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The government isn’t currently planning to make a Covid-19 vaccine mandatory
As we’ve written several times before, no plans have been announced to make a potential Covid-19 vaccine compulsory. Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health said recently that the government is not proposing to make a Covid-19 vaccine mandatory.
In response to a public petition on the subject of potential restrictions if people refuse a Covid-19 vaccine, the government said in September: “There are currently no plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine in a way that penalises those who do not take up the vaccine. However, the Government will carefully consider all options to improve vaccination rates, should that be necessary.”
There has been some discussion in the media of the possibility of “freedom passes”, which could theoretically allow people who’ve had multiple negative Covid-19 tests or have been vaccinated to travel more freely.
Chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, has previously told the Huff Post he could “see the day” when offices might require employees to have a Covid-19 vaccine before returning to the office, but no such policy has been announced.