Covid Vaccinations To Be Made Mandatory For Care Home Staff In England

mandatory vaccinations

Ministers are to announce this week that Covid vaccinations are to become mandatory for care home staff in England.

It is expected that 1.5million people working in social care will be given 16 weeks to have the jab, or face losing their jobs.

Care organisations have warned that making the vaccinations compulsory could cause significant difficulties in a sector already struggling to recruit enough people.

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

Mail Online reports: No decision has yet been made on whether vaccination should be made mandatory for the 1.4million who work for the NHS. A separate consultation on that is to be launched. Ministers are concerned about low take-up of the coronavirus vaccine among care workers, who include care home staff plus home helps. 

Despite care workers being among one of the top priority groups for Covid jabs, latest figures show that just two thirds of them have had both doses of the vaccine.

Tens of thousands of care home residents died in the pandemic, largely as a result of infections being brought in by staff during the first wave.

The Daily Mail first revealed in March that the Government was considering making it a legal requirement for NHS and care home staff to have the jab. 

Organisations representing care firms and their staff have warned that the move could backfire and see workers quit rather than agree to have the jab.

The social care sector already faces a workforce shortage as a result of years of underfunding, and an exodus of staff would make it harder to meet the expected upsurge in demand once the pandemic subsides.

The move also raises questions about how care homes treat staff who refuse a mandatory jab, and whether they have to be moved into other roles, and over whether the Government could face a legal challenge.

Later this week ministers will confirm that they are pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5million working in social care in England.