More than 1,000 Lancashire care home staff could face being struck off next month for not having both jabs
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Staff working in homes caring for older people, considered to be the most vulnerable from Covid-19, are required to have had both jabs by November 11 according to new Government rules.
And those who fail to meet the deadline now risk being struck off and banned from care homes in England.
They were told to 'get jabbed or get another job' just last week by Health Secretary Sajid Javid last week.
According to the latest vaccination figures for Lancashire, 1,737 staff members working in older adult care homes had still not had both jabs as of October 7.
Out of 13,148 staff members, 11,411 were reported to have had both of their Covid vaccinations - leaving almost 15 per cent who were yet to receive their second dose.
Across the North West, that number was 8,581 members of staff as of last Thursday, October 7.
And 825 members of staff across Lancashire have still not even had one jab, meaning they have missed the 'cut off' date of September 16 and will be struck off if not exempt.
The figures do not take into account those few who are exempt from having the vaccine due to underlying health conditions, however, almost 94 per cent of staff across the borough still had their first dose, compared to a fewer 86 per cent who had their second.
Unions have warned of the “catastrophic” staff shortages care homes will face unless the Government scraps the deadline for workers in the sector to be vaccinated against coronavirus.
But the Lancashire cabinet member for adult services, Graham Gooch, said that Lancashire is in a 'strong position and that the council is working with a small number of care homes where staff have not all received both jabs.
He said: "The County Council is working closely with our care providers to encourage staff to get both COVID jabs by November 11, when everyone working in care homes in England will need to be fully vaccinated.
"We have also worked alongside NHS colleagues in offering advice and support to providers and their staff to help ease any fears and concerns they may have about the vaccine.
"In recent weeks, a great deal of focus has gone into ensuring those who are not vaccinated have had their first jab in time to meet the November 11 deadline.
"At present, Lancashire is a strong position, regionally and nationally, thanks to our dedicated workforce doing what is needed to protect some of the most vulnerable people in the county.
"The vast majority of our 428 homes have provided reassurance that staffing will not be significantly impacted once the new law comes into force, and the county council is working with a small number of homes who may need additional support following November 11.
"If staff are not fully vaccinated by the deadline, all care providers, including the county council will review each case on an individual basis.
"For those staff who have now had their first dose, please make sure your second jab is booked in before November 11.
"I would also strongly encourage staff who have still not had their first dose to speak to your manager as there may still be time to get double jabbed.
"Please do not count on being medically exempt because some exemptions will be allowed, we do not anticipate many staff to qualify for this.
"Lancashire has a number of walk-in vaccination clinics, so visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/getmyjab for more information."
Care workers were told they had to get their first vaccine by September 16 and be double jabbed by November 11 or be banned from entering care homes in England.
Unison has said the mandatory jab policy was partly to blame for a “severe staffing crisis”, adding that many care agencies can no longer provide emergency cover.
And Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association, has urged the Government to put back the November 11 deadline for staff to have both jabs, saying it will have a knock-on effect on the NHS if homes have to reduce resident numbers.
But last week, care home workers who are not prepared to get the Covid vaccine were told they should “get out and get another job”, by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, adding they "should not be working in the sector if they are not prepared to be vaccinated" in an uncompromising message on BBC Radio 4.
More information on Lancashire County Council's website about Covid-19 for care providers is available HERE.