Care home staff urged to get vaccinated

Three in 10 care home staff in England not vaccinated.

No jab, no NHS job? Professor Chris Whitty says covid vaccines could be compulsory for medics and care staff because all workers should want to get inoculated voluntarily anyway.

According to BBC News, more than 435,000 workers in care homes for older adults are eligible in England, but only 304,600 have received a first dose.

The UK target of vaccinating 15 million people was met at the weekend.

But these figures, up to 14 February, suggest there are large groups of care workers, who are in the top four priority groups, have still not come forward.

Some care home staff have previously said they refused the vaccine because of “cultural issues”, but organisations representing care providers say they must be convinced to have one, to protect them and the services they work in.

Some 95% of care home residents in England, who are also prioritised, have been vaccinated, with all regions above 93%.

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The health secretary admits vaccine take-up has been higher among some priority groups than others.

He said the figure among health care staff was “a little bit lower than 90%”, with “around two-thirds” of social care staff having had jabs and “four-fifths” of NHS staff receiving their first dose.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England which represents private care providers, called for extra efforts to reach care home staff and to counter misinformation.

He told Sky News: “It is vital that as many residents and staff in care services are vaccinated in order to ensure the protection of vulnerable people.

“I have no reason to challenge the figures given by the secretary of state and if there are barriers to staff being vaccinated, we must ensure that vaccinations are administered where the staff are, rather than thinking staff will be able to attend vaccination centres.