One in five workers at elderly care homes not had first Covid jab as restrictions on visitors set to ease in days

Around one in five workers at elderly care homes in England have not been given a first dose of the Covid vaccine – new data has found.

The latest statistics from NHS England, published on April 8, shows that 78.9% of eligible staff at older adult care homes had been given their first jab by April 4.

It comes as care home residents will be allowed an extra visitor from April 12, meaning two people can visit at a time.

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When the first snapshot was published it revealed that by February 14, nearly 69% of staff – seven in 10 - at older adult care homes had received a first dose since the start of the vaccination programme.

But since then, the number has only slowly rised to nearly eight in ten.

What are the restrictions put in place on care homes?

Currently, people in care homes are only able to have just one face-to-face visitor.

From 12 April, care home residents will be able to be visited by a second visitor and babies and young children will not be counted as in this, which means residents will be able to be visited by a small family bubble.

One in five workers at elderly care homes have not had their first Covid jab as restrictions on visitors are set to ease in days (Shutterstock).

The increase comes as part of the next step of the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

Will all care home staff be jabbed?

Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers are the top priority group in the vaccination programme.

But the new figures come after Health Secretary Matt Hancock declined to say whether vaccines will be made compulsory for care home staff.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m very pleased to say that the uptake of the vaccine in care home workers is now 80%, four in five.

“There’s still more work to do but I’m very grateful to the care home workers who’ve been coming forward.”

Pressed on whether jabs could be made compulsory for care workers, he said: “We haven’t made an announcement on that, we haven’t said anything about that.

“But the uptake has been going up and that’s very important.”

Lambeth is leading the way

The NHS England data also showed that 67.8% of eligible staff working at elderly care homes in London are estimated to have received their first jab – which is the lowest region in the country.

Lambeth in London was the local authority reporting the lowest proportion of adult care home staff given a first dose, at 51.6% by April 4.

This was followed by Luton at 59.0%, Wandsworth at 60.1%, and Redbridge at 62.1%.

This compares with Blackpool, which had the highest proportion in England, at 91.0%.

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