Virus jab jobs threat to South Tyne care home staff
Nearly 30 care home staff in South Tyneside have not had a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine – as the deadline for compulsory jabs looms.
From November 11, care home staff will be required by law to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to work.
NHS England data shows 27 of the 1,158 people working in older adult care homes in South Tyneside had yet to receive a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on October 24 – meaning they face losing their jobs next week.
A further 91 workers who had received their first dose were still awaiting their second jab as of October 24.
Care workers were told to have their first jab by September 16 to meet the November 11 cut-off but, nationally, around 25,600 people working in the sector were unvaccinated by October 24 – six per cent of the workforce – with 51,000 yet to get their second dose.
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Gavin Edwards, Unison's officer for care, said: "Employers and unions in social care want to see maximum take-up of the vaccine.
"Jab rates were steadily rising and although the threat of being sacked will have persuaded some staff, it's also prompted others to leave.
“Ministers should pause the jab deadline until at least the spring, to allow even more to get their jabs or, better still, scrap it altogether."
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our message is clear. Vaccines save lives and while staff and residents in care homes have been prioritised and the majority are now vaccinated, it is our responsibility to protect vulnerable people.”