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Should Covid vaccination be mandatory for care home workers?

There are concerns that some parts of the country, such as London, have particularly low uptake of vaccines for care home staff.

The Government is to announce that care home workers will be required to have mandatory coronavirus vaccinations.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is known to be in favour of the move, while England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has said doctors and care workers have a “professional responsibility” to protect their patients.

Ministers will announce the move in the coming days, the PA news agency has been told, after a consultation was carried out into using staff vaccination in England to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19.

It comes after concerns that some parts of the country, such as London, have particularly low uptake of vaccines for care home staff.

Overall NHS figures to June 6 show that 84% of staff in older adult care homes in England have had one dose of vaccine, and almost 69% have had both jabs.

HEALTH Coronavirus

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman 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.”

The decision, first reported by the Guardian, is controversial, with the GMB union saying that more than a third of carers would consider leaving their jobs if vaccinations become compulsory.

GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “Carers have been at the forefront of this pandemic, risking their lives to keep our loved ones safe, often enduring almost Victorian working standards in the process.

“The Government could do a lot to help them: address their pay terms and conditions, increasing the rate of and access to contractual sick pay, banning zero hours, and ensuring more mobile NHS vaccination teams so those working night shifts can get the jab.

“Instead, ministers are ploughing ahead with plans to strongarm care workers into taking the vaccine without taking seriously the massive blocks these workers still face in getting jabbed.

“This looks like another potential avoidable mess. We’ve told ministers that more than a third of our members in social care would consider packing their jobs in if vaccines were mandated. They can’t now say they weren’t warned.”

Other critics of the proposal have raised ethical queries and have warned that compulsion could harden opposition in those who are hesitant to be vaccinated.

The UK’s human rights watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has however concluded it is “reasonable” to legally require care home staff to be vaccinated.

But it did advise that safeguards should be included to minimise the risk of discrimination by including exemptions including for staff who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

So should it be ‘No Jab – No Job’?

What are your views?  Do you think care home workers have a duty of care to protect their residents? Or do you think this proposed legislation is wrong? Would the vaccination of staff be a consideration for you if choosing a care home for a loved one?

Should Covid vaccinations be mandatory for care home workers?

642 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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ChrisE2416
2nd Jul 2021
0
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No offense to those who work in care homes, but really this is a no-brainer. If your folks were in a care home I'm sure you would want every measure to be taken to ensure their safety, I would even prefer everyone to be vaccinated, or stay away from me. It is entirely reasonable to me that those running care homes should require that their workforce be vaccinated, and a failure to do so should result in their being fired, after all this is the safety of those who live in care homes we are talking about.
Lionel
18th Jun 2021
1
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The way we view the 'care' sector, and the historically low pay levels has turned this vital area into a career backwater. Do care work if you can't do anything else or want a little pin money. It has become the equivalent of shop work fifty years ago!

Working in the care sector is not just a job, no, it's a vocation. Staff have a duty of care to preserve life and not further endanger it.

Thus, it must be an absolute necessity that all care workers are suitably vaccinated, and take care of their own health, before assuming responsibility for others.

I am very concerned with our personal freedoms. They've been eroded so much in our life times. But what about the rights and freedoms of those using care services? Don't they have a God-given right to be protected from personal opinions, Facebook advices and sloppy practices?

Having worked in the care sector for a few years, private and NHS, I can't do other than have a very high opinion of these services. It's generally a thankless task. But our personal opinions and prejudices matter nothing when preserving life.
willeyc
18th Jun 2021
3
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i am a hospital governor and cannot go back to work unless i have had both shots and i think it should be for all public sector workers
NannyLondon
16th Jun 2021
5
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When I started nursing in the 60's I had to have the smallpox jab and BCG test, No choice.
Same should apply these days to anyone who wishes to be a carer, after all its not a caring attitude in the first place.
Dippydi
16th Jun 2021
5
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If we don,t all get vaccinated this will never end.No one should be exempt.In this case civil rights should be ignored as it is a pandemic and keeps mutating.
Surfer Pete
16th Jun 2021
4
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Yes they definitely should - my Dad had a horrific outbreak at his care home mainly because of contract staff coming and going without testing. Anyone who works in that environment should have the jab. If not they should work elsewhere.
anubis
16th Jun 2021
4
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I know this is a difficult subject I am absolutely in favour of freedom of choice but I feel all health care, support workers and carers need to be protected to care safely not only for the elderly, sick and vulnerable patients but to protect themselves and their families
JE
16th Jun 2021
1
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I agree with everything you have said. There is an additional issue I think and that to protect the residents, all visitors whether professionals or family should also be vaccinated. Only exemptions should be for medical reasons.
MrsPat
16th Jun 2021
5
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Of course they should. My mother is in a home and they have had a torrid time in the last year. Most of the carers are young so they will be getting the vaccine now as well. My view is they should have been the first to receive it last year.
Wilf
16th Jun 2021
4
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Yes I think so unless there is a good medical reason not to have it. We need to stop the virus and the only way is for every last one of us to be vaccinated
Marley444
16th Jun 2021
3
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Absolutely - surely their duty of care to protect the old and vulnerable out weighs their right not to be vaccinated? I think that anyone who is in the caring profession should be vaccinated to offer the best chance of halting the spread of this virus.
jeffsoo
16th Jun 2021
4
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All health care staff
jeffsoo
16th Jun 2021
2
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We are not safe until we are all safe
Wilf
17th Jun 2021
1
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And that means literally everyone globally Jeff

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