A SMALL number of staff at the trust which runs Winchester hospital have chosen not to have the Covid vaccine.

Alex Whitfield, the chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), told attendees at an Ask the NHS meeting organised by MP Steve Brine that more than 90 per cent of its employees have had the vaccination.

Ms Whitfield said: “Over 90 per cent have had their vaccines. There are some that haven’t, there are some, so, pregnancy was contra-indicated at one point so people who were pregnant were advised to talk to their GP and consider whether they wait till after their baby is born to have the vaccine so we have some stuff in that situation and because we are always completely honest we do have a small number of staff who have chosen not to have the vaccine and have not shared their rationale but it is a very very small number.”

The number of staff who have chosen not to have the jab has not been revealed.

It comes as coronavirus vaccines could be mandatory for NHS staff under plans being considered by ministers.

The Government has already consulted on whether to make jabs compulsory for social care workers and ministers are now weighing up whether to do the same for medics.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was important to examine how to protect the most vulnerable from the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Mr Zahawi told Sky News: “It’s absolutely the right thing and it would be incumbent on any responsible government to have the debate, to do the thinking as to how we go about protecting the most vulnerable by making sure that those who look after them are vaccinated.”

He said there was a precedent because surgeons get vaccinated for hepatitis B “so it’s something that we are absolutely thinking about”.