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England proposes mandatory COVID vaccination for older people’s care home staff

The DHSC has launched a short consultation on mandatory COVID vaccination of staff working in care homes with older adult residents in England.

Care staff have five weeks – until Wednesday 19 May – to give their views on proposals to requiring care home providers, caring for older adults in England, to deploy only those workers who have received their COVID-19 vaccination.

Experts on the social care working group of SAGE advise 80 per cent of staff and 90 per cent of residents need to be vaccinated to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks of COVID-19. However, only 53 per cent of older adult homes in England are currently meeting this threshold.

Currently, there are 27 local authority areas with a staff vaccination rate below 70 per cent, and 121, including all 32 London boroughs, achieving below 80 per cent.

Making vaccines a condition of deployment would help to further protect older people living in care homes, although this would not affect those who can provide evidence of a medical exemption from COVID-19, says the DHSC.

The consultation will seek views on any potential impact on staffing and safety, implementation and exemptions.

Barchester Healthcare is among those companies to introduce a mandatory COVID vaccination policy. Chief executive Dr Pete Calveley said: “We take the view that providing safe care for those we care for is our paramount obligation.”

Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, replied: “Should the vaccine be mandatory for adult social care staff working in care homes for older people it begs the question whether it should not be mandatory for the NHS, those working in other care home settings, supported living, hospices, etc as well.”

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3 responses to “England proposes mandatory COVID vaccination for older people’s care home staff”

  1. Jacqui Gregg says:

    Well said Professor Martin Green OBE

  2. Joanna hayward says:

    Appalling that the government is trying to take away rights to freedom of choice! The vaccine does not prevent the virus! Those who have had it and isolated have not caused harm to others and are less likely to contract it again anyway, so why push a vaccine on them! There is already a page with over a million opposed to the vaccine. I’m sure they will fight this decision because irregardless of our opinion in this decision no one will acknowledge it unless it is in agreement with what the government wants you to do. And control is what they want.

  3. Anne Crousse says:

    This is ridiculous. Reasons :
    The vaccine is still in phase 3 of the study
    There is no evidence that it does not stop one being infectious
    There is not enough reflection on these brand new type of vaccines
    It is against our human rights
    Our immune system is better
    There are new variants which may not react to it.
    Younger people are not at risk and a vaccine is to protect ourselves and not others.
    If the elderly are vaccinated and the vaccine works so well, why are they scared of the non vaccinated?
    And many other reasons….

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