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Next Thursday (16 September) is a key date for those working or entering care homes. Care workers – including anyone entering a care home such as tradespeople or visitors – have just one week left to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination, before the law in England changes.
Currently 91% of care home workers in Essex (excluding Southend and Thurrock) have received their first dose of their vaccine, and 83% are fully vaccinated. This means there are around 1,000 care workers in the county yet to receive their first dose.
From 11 November 2021, all staff must be fully vaccinated if they want to continue working in a care home. In order to meet this deadline, the last day for workers to receive their first dose is 16 September 2021.
The rules also apply for all new staff as well as anyone visiting or volunteering inside the premises of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care home, whether they are providing nursing or personal care. This applies unless they have a medical exemption.
Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, said:
I’m so pleased that the overwhelming majority of care home staff have received their first dose. It is so important for people who care for vulnerable residents to be fully vaccinated because it greatly reduces the risk of passing the infection onto them.
“It really could not be easier or more convenient for people to go and get their vaccine in Essex. There are many walk-in clinics available across the county, with several operating extended hours and over the weekend. I urge the remaining care home workers who haven’t received their first vaccine to do so this week.
“I do recognise that there are some people with strongly held views about the vaccine. I would ask everyone in Essex who knows an unvaccinated care worker to help address these worries and I know local GPs and our highly trusted Director of Public Health will be ready to offer advice and reassurance.”
Dr Mike Gogarty, Director for Public Health at Essex County Council said:
“Covid-19 infections are three times lower in double vaccinated people, which shows how vital it is for those working with vulnerable people to have the vaccine.
“I appreciate that some people have their own concerns about having the vaccine which need to be understood. We’re encouraging anyone with concerns and who are affected by this new legislation, to discuss these with a GP. This can be organised by contacting the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) on 0300 303 9988 or by emailing [email protected].”