NHS staff who refuse a Covid vaccine will be spoken to by managers "to explain the powerful protective effects" of the jab, it has emerged.
Health bosses have called for one-to-one conversations with reluctant employees as part of a drive to "redouble our efforts" to keep hospitals safe from the virus.
An email from Prerana Issar, NHS England's chief people officer, seen by Health Service Journal, says: "As a result of your continued hard work we have seen an uptick in staff vaccination numbers, with nine out of 10 eligible staff now vaccinated.
"The feedback we've received is that your work with BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] networks, chaplains and clinical leaders has had results.
"There are, however, a number of staff who have declined the first dose of the vaccine. As the evidence grows around the effectiveness of the vaccine and its ability to reduce transmission, we must now redouble our efforts in keeping each and every one of our staff safe.
"So we are asking that every staff member who declined the vaccine should now have a one-to-one conversation with their line manager to explain the powerful protective effects of the vaccine. It is the perfect opportunity to address concerns and better understand hesitancy. Local occupational health teams should support these conversations."
Ms Issar said the conversations needed to happen "at pace" and by March 12, adding that we "continue to support shared decision-making but there is clear evidence that the vaccine is the best way to quickly protect colleagues and the patients in our care".
A spokesman for NHS England said: "More than nine in 10 frontline NHS staff have now had the first Covid-19 vaccine, which is an amazing and still growing uptake. A vast amount of work is happening with BAME networks, chaplains, faith and community leaders to encourage as many people as possible take up the offer of a vaccine."
Meanwhile, data released on Thursday showed that hundreds of thousands of social care staff in England have not yet received a Covid vaccine.
Some 59.2 per cent of staff in care homes for adults aged under 65 and working for providers of home care registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have received their first dose. For social care staff working in other settings in England, including non-registered providers, the figure is 57.5 per cent.