Hillary Clinton Urges U.K. to Mandate Vaccines Right Now

Hillary Clinton has urged U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to implement COVID vaccine mandates.

The former secretary of state made the remarks during an appearance on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday to discuss State of Terror, the political thriller she co-wrote with author Louise Penny.

Clinton told Marr it's "imperative" Johnson takes action to combat rising coronavirus infections in the U.K.

"I do think it's imperative that the prime minister do what he can to stop the rise in COVID in the U.K.," Clinton said. "He doesn't need to shut the society down, but he does need to mandate vaccines."

Clinton said she supported the implementation of "vaccine passports" to access indoor venues, but she added that mandates requiring workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs were also needed.

"Part of what we've done in New York, for example, is all of the big health systems, hospitals and the like, they've mandated vaccines," Clinton said.

"For example, one very large one, 77,000 employees, 1,000 refused to get vaccinated. They were fired."

'We're Not Going Back to Lockdown'

She added: "I think you've got to make it clear that we're not going to go back to lockdown, that is not going to happen. But, if you don't get vaccinated and if you don't have proof of vaccination when you go into a club or a restaurant, and employers don't enforce vaccines, we may see some problems here in the U.K. as the weather gets colder and people are forced back inside again."

Scientists have recently urged the U.K. government to bring back strict COVID restrictions to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.

The U.K. government has encouraged millions of residents to get booster shots, but Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it wasn't necessary to implement Plan B rules, which include mandatory face masks in some settings and so-called COVID passports.

In an appearance on BBC Breakfast, Javid also said he would support plans to make it mandatory for healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated.

Javid told Sky News he was "leaning towards" making the vaccine mandatory for the roughly 100,000 National Health Service (NHS) staff who are yet to get their first shot.

"It's not only right for someone working in the NHS because naturally they're more likely to come into contact with COVID... but also for those they're caring for, those who are vulnerable in hospital," he said on BBC Breakfast.

A spokesperson for the U.K.'s Department of Health and Social Care said all care home workers, and anyone entering a care home, will need to be fully vaccinated by November 11.

"We have taken action to introduce vaccination requirements in care homes and we have consulted on extending this further across health and other social care services," the spokesperson told Newsweek.

"Vaccines are safe and effective and just under 80 percent of the UK population have already had both jabs to protect themselves against COVID-19. As winter approaches, we urge anyone who is eligible to get their booster jab now."

In the U.S., President Joe Biden has mandated that federal contractors and all businesses with more than 100 employees require workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID.

The conflict over vaccine mandates has been growing, with staff from all types of occupations including healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters and educators refusing to get the jab.

Update at 12 p.m. ET on 10/25/21: This article has been updated with a comment from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Hillary Clinton pictured at Queens University
Hillary Clinton pictured at Queens University on September 24, 2021, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images