England: Covid vaccine to be required for care home staff

 England: Covid vaccine to be required for care home staff

Covid vaccine to be required for care home staff in England

England, 16June: Covid vaccinations are to become mandatory for staff in care homes for older people.

Care staff are expected to be given 16 weeks to have the jab or face being redeployed away from frontline care or losing their jobs.

The move is expected to be announced by the government in the next few days.

Consultations will start on a similar rule for other health and care staff.

Care organizations have warned that compulsory vaccinations could cause significant difficulties in a sector that already struggles to recruit enough people.

The government, however, is believed to have considerable concerns about low take-up of the vaccine in some areas, including London.

A Whitehall source told the International Media: “These moves would save lives and there is precedent with the Hepatitis B vaccine guidance for doctors.”

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from getting the vaccine will not be affected by the new measure.

The move follows a consultation by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

That consultation was launched in April, two months after the government said it had met its target of offering all frontline care workers a first dose of a vaccine by mid-February.

The department said in April, as it started the consultation, that 47% of English care homes for older people had more than a fifth of staff yet to take up the vaccine.

It said that this was despite staff at all eligible care homes having been offered vaccines, with the vast majority of homes having had repeat visits by vaccine teams.

A DHSC spokeswoman said the department’s response to the consultation would be published “in due course”.

She further said: “Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and have already saved thousands of lives – with millions of health and care staff vaccinated.

“Our priority is to make sure people in care homes are protected, and we launched the consultation to get views on whether and how the government might take forward a new requirement for adult care home providers, looking after older people, to only deploy staff who have had a Covid-19 vaccination or have an appropriate exemption,” she said.

Web Desk

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