Care home providers have warned that the slow delivery of COVID-19 booster vaccines to care and nursing home residents and staff risks a new surge in cases in care settings.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) is calling on the Government to speed up the provision of the third injection to the vulnerable and their carers with the latest figures showing that just 27.8% of care and nursing home residents and 14.1% of staff have had their third jab.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “The rollout isn’t happening quickly enough and that is putting care settings at risk once again.
“Evidence shows that infection and death rates are rising again and history shows that vulnerable people are going to be most at risk if COVID-19 takes a hold.”
“We are worried about the upward trend in cases and the impact this will have on the community in general and care settings in particular.
“We dread going back to a situation where we have increasing cases amongst residents and staff off sick with COVID-19, putting the care we offer in jeopardy.”
The ICG is also asking Health & Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid to postpone the introduction of compulsory vaccination for care staff, which is scheduled to come in next month.
“We are facing an ever-increasing staffing crisis and will need all hands to the pumps ahead of winter,” Mike added.
“The last thing we need is another 40,000 vacancies in the social care sector if the Government persists with its no jab, no job rule for social care. We would ask Mr Javid to at least consider delaying if not scrapping that plan.”