More than 440,000 social care staff not vaccinated, figures suggest

Abbianca Makoni
·3-min read
<p>Residents are classed as eligible for the vaccine if they have not had Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.</p> (PA Archive)

Residents are classed as eligible for the vaccine if they have not had Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.

(PA Archive)

More than 400,000 social care staff in England have not yet received a coronavirus vaccine, figures suggest.

Frontline health and social care staff were included in group two of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), with elderly care home residents and their carers in group one. The Government said it had offered the vaccine to everyone in the top four groups as of mid-February.

But the figures, published by NHS England, show that some 59.2 per cent of staff in care homes for adults aged under 65 and working for providers of home care registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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 is 57.5 per cent, NHS England said.

The estimations are based on figures reported by 94 per cent of registered younger adult care home providers, 81 per cent of registered domiciliary care providers and 149 local authorities up to February 28.

The estimates are based on figures reported by 94% of registered younger adult care home providers.PA Graphics
The estimates are based on figures reported by 94% of registered younger adult care home providers.PA Graphics

This works out at 444,683 social care staff in these settings who have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination has not yet been reported.

The public body noted that this total may include some staff who cannot currently be vaccinated for valid medical reasons and staff whose vaccination status is currently unknown. There may also be a time lag in vaccinations being reported.

The latest weekly data also shows that 93.8 per cent of eligible residents in older adult care homes in England had received the jab by February 28.

Residents are classed as eligible for the vaccine if they have not had Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.

The equivalent figure for staff of older care homes is 72.9 per cent.

Some 57.9 per cent of eligible staff of older care homes in London are estimated to have received their first jab.

Peter Cast, from Ashtead, was one of the first people to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.PA
Peter Cast, from Ashtead, was one of the first people to receive the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.PA

Colin Angel, policy director at the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), said: “There are a proportion of care workers, just as there are in the general population, who have been initially hesitant about receiving the vaccine. Good conversations between employers and their staff, and the enthusiasm for vaccination amongst their peers, is having a positive impact.”

He said that after a “slow start in parts of the country”, the opening of the national booking service for social care workers last month has “significantly improved the availability of places where homecare workers can get vaccinated”, adding rapid take-up is “far more successful” when care workers can get their jab at a time and place that fits around their working hours.

But figures published by NHS England also showed that London lagged behind other regions in England in terms of how many people aged 65 and over have received a vaccine.

Overall, an estimated 93.6 per cent of people aged 65 and over in England have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Regional estimates range from 84.7 per cent for London to 95.9 per cent for south-west England.

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