Healthcare workers could be forced to have flu jabs as new figures reveal that just 61% of NHS staff have received their injections.
Data from Public Health England shows that four in 10 front line healthcare workers are not vaccinated despite the UK experiencing one of its worst flu outbreaks in years.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that it was unacceptable for the vaccination uptake of NHS staff to be so low.
“It is wrong for any front line NHS staff not to be vaccinated against flu without a good medical reason,” Mr Hancock said.
“This is an essential measure to ensure that both patients and staff are protected throughout the winter period.
“I am determined to reach universal uptake for NHS workers next year.”
The UK has been hit by a flu crisis this season with hospital admissions eight times higher than this time last year.
According to Public Health England, 586 cases were reported by 19 trusts last week, with 174 people being admitted to intensive care or high-dependency units for flu.