Authorised vaccines

The Human Medicines Legislation has been amended to enable the temporary authorisation of Covid-19 vaccines once they meet a set of conditions to ensure product safety, quality and efficacy.

The UK’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has authorised a number of Covid-19 vaccines for use.

Check the MHRA website for the latest on authorised vaccines.

Acting in line with the Code

Administering the vaccine

All registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates (in England), including those on our temporary register, involved in the administration of any Covid-19 or flu vaccine must act in line with the requirements of the Code.

This means that they will need to:

  • have the right knowledge and skills to vaccinate
  • act within the law and in line with the best available evidence
  • follow the national protocol and local policies in the nation where they practise, and
  • balance the need to act in the best interests of people with the requirement to respect a person’s right to accept or refuse treatment.

Exercising your personal views appropriately

We recognise that, like anyone else, those on our register have their own personal views on the Covid-19 vaccine.

As the Code sets out, all registered nursing and midwifery professionals have:

  • a duty to act in a way that puts the interests of those using health and care services first and prioritises their care and safety, and
  • a responsibility to uphold the reputation of their profession, so that people receiving care, other health and care professionals and the wider public, can have confidence in them.

In line with the Code, you should exercise your personal views appropriately - in a way which upholds professionalism and doesn’t cause upset or distress to others.

Vaccines for health and care staff

The Code and our standards make clear that professionals have a responsibility to maintain their own level of health. And that they should take all reasonable personal precautions to avoid potential health risks to colleagues and people receiving care.

All nurses, midwives and nursing associates need to be confident that measures are in place where they work to manage any risk of transmission, and they need to take appropriate steps themselves to reduce risks and prioritise the safety of people in their care.

Supporting the vaccination programme

Each of the four nations of the UK has plans for vaccine delivery involving a mixture of delivery models, such as mobile teams to visit care homes, large sites at hospitals, and primary care-based delivery.

If you’re interested in supporting the vaccination programme, you can find out more about the various roles you could apply for in your nation:

If you’re not on our register

The vaccination programme includes a variety of roles, some of which do not require you to be on our register. Please check the relevant role description and act accordingly in regard to the registration requirements.

If you’re a student

It’s possible that some nations may want to provide practice learning experiences for student nurses, midwives and nursing associates which include the administration of Covid-19 or flu vaccines. If so, these students will be given appropriate education and training in line with their standards of proficiency.

Mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for health and care staff in England

From 11 November 2021 anyone working in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care will need to be fully vaccinated, unless they are medically exempt.

This applies to all workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis), those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home.

Read the operational guidance for Covid-19 vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes on GOV.UK.

In November 2021, following a public consultation, government announced plans to introduce Covid-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for all frontline health and social care workers in England. 

This will apply to health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with people while providing care in CQC-regulated settings, unless they are exempt. These requirements will come into force in April 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval.

Information for students

Taking part in practice placements

Depending on the requirements in your country, you may not be able to complete the practice component of your programme if you are not vaccinated against Covid-19.

New legislation set to come into effect in April 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval, will mean that CQC-registered employers in England will require you to be fully vaccinated to be able to deliver face-to-face care unless you are exempt. You can speak to your education institution about your options.

Joining our register

If you’ve successfully completed your approved pre-registration programme and have met the standards of proficiency for safe and effective practice, you will be eligible to apply to join our register regardless of your Covid-19 vaccination status.

However your employment may be subject to mandatory vaccination. Please check with prospective employer for further details.

Where to find more information