Covid vaccinations are to become compulsory for staff in care homes for older people in England, the BBC has been told.
Care staff are expected to be given 16 weeks to have the jab – or face being redeployed away from frontline care, or lose their jobs.
The move, first reported in the Guardian, is expected to be announced by the government in the next few days.
Consultations will begin on the same rule for other health and care staff.
Care organisations have warned that compulsory vaccinations could cause significant difficulties in a sector that already struggles to recruit enough people.
The government, however, is believed to have considerable concerns about low take-up of the vaccine in some areas, including London.
A Whitehall source told the BBC: “These moves would save lives and there is precedent with the Hepatitis B vaccine guidance for doctors.”
Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from getting the vaccine will not be affected by the new measure.
The move follows a consultation by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).