Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told vaccine shy care workers they should not be working in the sector if they are not prepared to be vaccinated against Covid. Mr Sajid has rejected calls from the National Care Association to push back the November 1 deadline for all care home workers to have both doses of the vaccine. He argued that people looking after some of the most vulnerable should get vaccinated or “why are you working in care?”
Mr Javid told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “If you look at the people sadly that are still dying from Covid tends to be obviously older people that will tend to have other illnesses as well.
“If you want to look after them, if you want to cook for them, if you want to feed them, if you want to put them to bed then you should get vaccinated.
“If you are not going to get vaccinated then why are you working in care!?”
He added: “If you think about your relatives or elderly relatives you might have, your loves ones in care homes and the idea that someone wants to look after them and they don’t want to take a perfectly safe and effective vaccine which has been approved by our regulators, which has been used all over the world.
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“Because somehow they have got some objection the vaccine than really honestly they shouldn’t be in our care homes.
“They should go get another job, I am very clear on that.”
Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association, has urged the Government to put back the November 11 deadline for staff to have both jabs.
Ms Ahmed argued the mandatory measure will have a knock-on effect on the NHS if homes have to reduce resident numbers.
“They will have to be looking at whether they can minimise the number of beds that they use to keep themselves open, which will have a direct effect on the NHS’s ability to discharge people out of hospital.”
Ms Ahmed said care homes have already overcome considerable vaccine hestistancy among staff.
In November last year, shortly before the vaccine programme launched, she said just 40 percent of staff had said they would get it.
But 86 percent of staff are now fully vaccinated, she pointed out.