The question of whether all front-line NHS workers and other care staff should be vaccinated against Covid 19 has yet to be resolved.
More than two and a half thousand people have died from Coronavirus in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic, over 150 of them in the past month.
While it is not possible to legislate for compulsory vaccination, it is possible to ensure a duty of care to patients and clients. Un-vaccinated staff pose an infection threat, and worse, to those they are caring for and to those who work with them.
There will be some staff who, for a number of reasons, cannot or will not accept the vaccine and they have a right to do so. However, with rights come responsibilities.
There may always be people who reject or debunk the science, but in the face of an ongoing pandemic, a rising death toll and a health and care service pushed to its limits and beyond, the priority has to be the safety and well-being of patients, clients and staff.
That cannot be afforded if unvaccinated staff form part of the front line.