Covid-19NewsSocial Care

Social Care Staff Urged to Get Booster

Care home staff and those working in social care are being urged to get the booster vaccine in the fight against the spread of Omicron variant.

Scottish Government financial support is available for adult care providers who incur additional costs if employees are vaccinated in working time – so staff can do so without losing earnings or having to take annual leave.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 made it more important than ever that care workers get their COVID-19 booster vaccinations, test themselves regularly and maintain infection prevention measures. Rates of uptake of the booster vaccine are currently lower among social care staff, with 47.7% of frontline social care workers and 54.8% of care home staff having had their booster, than they are in other sectors such as frontline healthcare workers (72%).

Mr Yousaf said: “I want to thank everyone working in social care who has taken up the offer of vaccination, and has had a booster jag. But I want to encourage every single social care worker to get themselves vaccinated. Even if you’ve been double-vaccinated, we know your immunity against COVID-19 wanes over time. Getting your booster is even more important with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Please do so as soon as possible.

“I’m very grateful to all our social care workers for their continued resilience and ongoing commitment during what I know continues to be a very difficult time. I know staff are likely to be feeling particularly fatigued after more than 20 months of the pandemic and I want to thank you all for supporting each other and working together as we continue to navigate through this.

“However we know that the rate of take up among those working in care homes and social care is not as high as in other sectors. It is crucial, especially for those working with some of our most vulnerable citizens, that you get your booster if you have not already done so.

“Getting vaccinated is vital in protecting you, those you care for, and your friends and family.”