Almost a fifth of care home staff in the East Riding not vaccinated against Covid-19

Almost a fifth of care home staff in the East Riding have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 8:55 pm
4,176 workers in care homes for older adults in this area were eligible for a first dose of a vaccination up to March 7. Photo: PA Images
4,176 workers in care homes for older adults in this area were eligible for a first dose of a vaccination up to March 7. Photo: PA Images

UNISON which represents care workers, said employees should be encouraged, not intimidated, into receiving a jab and added that those who are uncertain needed support.

NHS data shows 4,176 workers in care homes for older adults in the East Riding were eligible for a first dose of a vaccination up to March 7, but just 3,416 received it.

It means 18% of staff, including agency workers, have not had a jab.

Across England, the uptake rate varies by region with the North East and Yorkshire having the lowest proportion of unvaccinated staff – 22%. Staff members and residents in care homes for older adults are in the top four priority groups for the vaccination.

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said everyone in those groups – which also includes people aged 75 and over and those clinically extremely vulnerable – had been offered a first dose.

Since then, a growing number of care home providers have made it a requirement for new staff to have the Covid-19 vaccine.

But UNISON said such a “heavy-handed approach” is the opposite of what is needed to encourage workers to have the vaccine.

Gavin Edwards, the union’s national officer for social care, said: “Everyone who can have a jab should, including social care staff, but some employers are intimidating their employees which leads to a lack of trust in the vaccine.”

He added: “Staff who are hesitant need support, accurate information and the chance to talk about their concerns.”

There are no clear signs yet that the Government will make it compulsory.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have visited every eligible care home in England, offered vaccines to all staff, and are doing everything we can to ensure all those who can, take up the vital offer. All eligible staff can book using the national booking service.”

In the East Riding, 2,809 residents in care homes for older people have received their first dose of a vaccination – equating to 95% of eligible residents.