More than one in seven care home staff in the East Riding ‘not vaccinated against Covid-19’
Care home staff will be required by law to receive a Covid-19 vaccination under plans by the Government – as figures reveal more than one in seven workers in the East Riding have not had a first dose.
A consultation on mandatory jabs has been launched following concerns about whether enough carers have been vaccinated to stop the virus spreading to residents.
But the move has provoked criticism from trade union Unison which said mandatory vaccinations could “backfire” and lead to a staffing shortage.
In the East Riding, 3,587 out of 4,204 eligible staff, including agency workers, at older adult care homes had received a first dose by April 11, according to latest NHS figures – meaning 15% have not had a jab.
The unvaccinated proportion has reduced slightly from four weeks previously, when it was 17%.
The area is meeting recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) which state four in five staff need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks.
Across the North East and Yorkshire, 22% of eligible care home workers had not been vaccinated by April 11, while across England that figure stood at 21%.
The Government’s plan would see older adult care home operators only able to use staff who have received a Covid-19 vaccination.
Care home staff with evidence of a medical exemption to the jab will still be allowed to work.
The idea has received support from some care home providers like Barchester Healthcare whose chief executive Dr Peter Calveley has implemented a similar policy for his staff.
He said providing safe care was the company’s “paramount obligation”.
However, Unison said the Government should give staff more time, tackle misinformation and put extra resources into areas with low take-up.
Cultural reasons as well as concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine and anti-vax campaigns have led to some care home workers not taking up the vaccine, the National Care Association, which represents care providers, said.