The National Care Forum (NCF) has warned there is a “mountain to climb” to reach the government’s target of vaccinating all care staff by 15 February.
In a press briefing covering its Pulse Survey for the period 1-31 January, the NCF said that “large gaps” remained in the majority of services between the number of staff vaccinated and the government’s 15 February target of 100%.
The survey found that 41% of care home staff still had to be vaccinated with the shortfall even larger in extra care housing and supported living services (48%), home care services (55%) and community based services (60%).
NCF executive director, Vic Rayner, said there remained a “huge mountain to climb” on reaching the government’s target.
As well as continuing problems with accessing vaccinations for some staff, providers continue to record a minority of staff declining jabs for medical and non-medical reasons.
Mark Cunningham, CEO, The Federation of Jewish Services, said 10% of his staff had currently declined vaccinations.
Brian James, Operations Manager, Keychange said issues remained with persuading some staff that taking the vaccine was a “mitigation of risk”.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, and so far our heroic health and care staff have vaccinated more people than every country in Europe put together.
“We have visited every eligible care home in England, offering vaccinations to all residents and staff, and are on track to meet our target of offering all of those in priority groups 1-4, which includes frontline social care workers, their first vaccine dose by mid-February.
“Health and social care staff are playing crucial roles on the frontline of this pandemic and their employers are in the process of contacting them to make sure they get their vaccine as soon as possible.”