Over 400,000 Social Care Staff Not Vaccinated, Research Suggests

Over 400,000 of England’s adult social care workforce have not received a coronavirus vaccine, according to research.

An estimated 80.4% of eligible staff working at older adult care homes had received the vaccination by April 18, NHS England said, and a total of 72.3% of staff working in independent Care Quality Commission-registered younger adult care homes and domiciliary care providers have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

For social care staff working in other settings in England, including non-registered providers, the figure was 69.4%.

According to analysis by PA news agency, 1.17 million out of 1.58 million social care staff in these settings have received a first dose, which leaves 417,989 social care staff who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination has not yet been recorded.

The total includes over 1000 older adult care home staff who are not eligible because they have had Covid-19 in the past 28 days and may include a small number who work at a home currently in outbreak and therefore cannot be visited, and may also include staff who cannot be vaccinated for valid medical reasons or staff whose vaccination status is currently unknown, while NHS England said there may be a time lag in vaccinations being reported.

Of the 417,989 total, 43% work in other settings including non-registered providers.

The figures came as the Government opened a public consultation on a proposal for staff to be required to get a jab as a condition of employment to protect elderly residents.

The figures show that the vaccination rate for staff at older adult care homes is below the level recommended by scientists advising the Government in more than half of England’s local authorities.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) says 80% of care home staff and 90% of residents need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against Covid-19 outbreaks.

Figures published reveal that 76 out of 149 local authorities have not reached this threshold for employees.

 

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