This is how many Derbyshire care home staff are yet to have a Covid vaccine
More than 1,200 care home staff in Derbyshire are yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, it has emerged.
NHS figures show that in our county, 1,212 out of 8,542 eligible staff, including agency workers, at older adult care homes had not received a first jab by June 13.
It comes in the week it was revealed that coronavirus vaccinations are to be made compulsory for care home staff in England.
On our Facebook page this week, we asked people if they thought Covid-19 vaccines should be compulsory for staff in care homes.
Sally Goodrum said: “Yes. If you’re not prepared to put vulnerable people before yourself then you’re in the wrong job anyway.”
Patricia Ann Powell said: “Definitely. We won’t be safe till everyone is vaccinated.”
But Shona MacDiarmid said: “No. If you start making injections mandatory where does it stop?”
Sandy Mclachlan added: “You should be given the Freedom to choose.”
Staff will be given 16 weeks to get fully vaccinated from the time new legislation is approved by Parliament, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Wednesday.
He said the move, set to take effect from October, was aimed at protecting the most vulnerable from the virus and would cover all workers employed by a care home provider.
Making the announcement, Mr Hancock said “Vaccines save lives and while staff and residents in care homes have been prioritised and the majority are now vaccinated we need to do everything we can to keep reducing the risk.”
But concerns have been raised by leaders in the care sector that such a ‘oppressive’ approach would lead to staff shortages.
Nadra Ahmed, chief executive of the National Care Association, which represent care providers, said the Government now risked a staffing shortage.
She said: “I don’t know why the Government can’t carry on persuading people to have the vaccine rather than creating a legislative pathway which is so oppressive.
“The social care sector already has 112,000 vacancies and we now at risk of being left with more as some overworked, stressed and already anxious care workers have had enough.”
Meanwhile, Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The Government’s sledgehammer approach now runs the risk that some care staff may simply walk away from an already understaffed, undervalued and underpaid sector.”