Just 4.2% of staff in older adult care homes have received their autumn Covid booster since roll-out began on 11 September according to government figures and reflect similar low for vaccine take-up by staff in care homes for younger people (3.2%) and domiciliary care staff (2.3%) as of the week ending 15 October.
In September the government announced that residents of older adult care homes and people who are housebound could begin receiving their covid and flu vaccinations from September 11. The adult covid and flu vaccination programme, was brought forward based on the latest expert advice following the emergence of a new covid-19 variant prioritised those at greatest risk.
However, of week ending 15 October 2023, the proportions who had received an autumn booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine were:
• 4.2% of total staff of older adult care homes
• 3.2% of total staff of younger adult care homes
• 2.3% of total domiciliary care staff
As of week ending 15 October 2023, the proportions who had received a flu vaccination for the 2023 to 2024 season were:
• 35.7% of total residents and 3.7% of total staff of older adult care homes
• 21.9% of total residents and 2.8% of total staff of younger adult care homes
• 2.6% of total domiciliary care staff
Visiting in care homes
In the week ending 16 October 2023, 99.6% of care homes in England were able to accommodate residents receiving visitors. This figure has been stable since September 2022.
Staff absences due to COVID-19
In the week ending 16 October 2023, 0.2% of care home staff and 0.6% of domiciliary care staff were absent due to COVID-19 related reasons.
This proportion stayed the same for care home staff but increased for domiciliary care staff in the last month, compared to the week ending 14 September 2023 when 0.4% of domiciliary care staff were absent due to COVID-19 related reasons.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thomas Waite, says: “Flu and COVID can cause severe illness and hospitalisations for vulnerable people, so it’s essential you protect yourself by booking your jab.If you are eligible, please come forward and get your jabs as soon as possible to make sure you have the best protection against these viruses.”
National charities are also urging those with health conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious complications of flu and COVID-19 to come forward to get their jabs.