Great Britain

More than 200,000 NHS and care home staff have not had their first Covid jab

MORE than 200,000 NHS workers and care home staff have not had their first dose of the Covid jab.

This is despite chief medical officer Chris Whitty telling health care workers that they have a “professional responsibility” to get vaccinated.

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Out of 1,158,300 frontline workers in England, 1,051,876 people have had the vaccine, according to NHS statistics.

In care homes the numbers are even worse, with 322,534 out of 444,200 of those who work with some of the most vulnerable patients taking the jab.

Research by Professor Tim Spector at King’s College London has previously shown the vaccine has the potential to slash infection rates among NHS staff by 50 per cent.

London is behind other regions with just 76 per cent of health workers in the capital having the first dose, compared to 91 per cent across the country.

An impressive 97 per cent of NHS staff in the North East have said yes to the vaccine already.

'NO JAB, NO JOB'

Martin Machray, joint chief nurse for the NHS in London, told The Sunday Times: “Vaccinating staff is critical to the safe running of health and care settings, so we are working with trusts to ensure that all staff feel confident in taking the vaccine.”

NHS London confirmed that all staff had been offered the vaccine and teams were creating tailored materials to address the concerns of those who are hesitant.

Almost three quarters of care homes bosses said they wanted to implement a “no jab, no job” policy.

Care UK, which runs 120 homes, said: “Everyone applying for a role which requires them to go into a home will be expected to have been vaccinated before they start work.”

Barchester Healthcare, which runs more than 200 homes, has told staff they have until April 23 to get the jab.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said there is an “obvious rationale” for companies forcing care home staff to get the vaccine.

He said: “Future contracts and contracts of employment are indeed matters between employers and employees.

“I think that where such conditions are imposed there needs to be a very clear rationale for them.

“In a care home, a closed environment where there are vulnerable residents, I would argue there does seem to be an obvious rationale.”

Twenty million Brits have now received their first Covid vaccine dose as Matt Hancock hails 'magnificent achievement'

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