London and Northern Ireland also revealed as having the highest rate of care home workers who haven’t received any Covid vaccine, according to a survey by carehome.co.uk.
3 in 4 care home staff, 74%, believe that staffing pressures in their care homes will deteriorate further as a direct result of the government’s requirement for staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The survey of over 7,000 care home staff by carehome.co.uk, the leading care home reviews website, also reveals the differences in UK’s regions of care home workers who haven’t received any Covid vaccine, with London topping the list at 21%. The North East reported the lowest rate of staff who are yet to be vaccinated, at 10%, with 82% double vaccinated and the remaining 8% single jabbed.
The findings come after the deadline for care home workers to have received their first vaccine, with government analysts predicting that around 40,000 staff will lose their jobs due to refusing a jab. In July, the government announced that from 11 November, everyone working in a care home in England will have to be vaccinated. In order to be fully protected by this date, all staff have to have had two doses by 16 September.
The latest statistics from the Department for Health and Social Care, published on 9 September, reveal that 82% of care home workers are now fully vaccinated and 90% have had their first dose, a week before the government’s 16th September deadline.
The survey, which ran from 17– 19 September, also found that 62% believe colleagues will have to leave their care home because they are against receiving a vaccine, while just 18% think the policy will have no effect on staff losses. And, despite efforts by the government and health officials to quell fears over the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, more than 1 in 5 (22%) say colleagues who are concerned about being vaccinated are so due to fears around fertility.
Speaking of the results, Sue Learner, editor of carehome.co.uk, said:
“Care homes have been on the front line against COVID-19 and are still coping with the fallout. These findings suggest the vast majority of care home workers fear mandatory vaccines will have a negative effect on staffing levels, adding to their struggle to recover from the pandemic.
“The government must provide care homes with the crucial support they need to ensure they can retain and attract more workers into the sector. The industry is already in the grip of a recruitment crisis and the mandatory policy threatens to exacerbate this, posing severe risks to the health and wellbeing of both residents and staff.
“Our survey shows there is a lot more work to be done by the government to boost confidence in the vaccine, with fears over fertility and health risks and side effects still high among care home staff refusing the vaccine.”