Government legislation is set to bring in new guidelines around care home staff and Covid-19 vaccinations.
Unvaccinated staff need to have had their first dose by September 16 to meet Government’s new legislation that comes into force from November 11
Rules also cover any other professions who enter care homes
Care home staff in Manchester have been urged to get their COVID vaccinations as soon as possible to protect themselves and the people they care for.
Anyone whose duties require them to enter an adult care home will also have to be vaccinated against coronavirus, unless they are medically exempt, under the new Government legislation.
A 16-week grace period began on July 22 – which means workers have until September 16 to get their first dose of the vaccine, so they can be fully vaccinated by the time the legislation comes into the force on November 11.
People living in care homes are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from Covid-19 and the Government has said that making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes will "help ensure that residents at high risk from Covid-19, either due to their age, underlying health conditions, or disability, are better protected against the virus".
84 per cent of care home staff in Manchester have already been vaccinated, according to latest figures. The remainder have just under four weeks in which to get their first jab to ensure they are able to have the second by November 11. There is an eight-week gap needed between the first and second doses.
Care home staff have been able to access vaccinations since the end of December and were one of the first groups in the country to be offered the vaccination.
Councillor Joanna Midgley, Manchester City Council’s executive member for health and care, said: "We appreciate the valuable contribution that our care home staff make to the health and wellbeing of people in the city. We cannot lose sight of the fact that, despite the lifting of restrictions recently, the virus hasn't gone away. Nearly 2,000 people in Manchester tested positive for Covid-19 in the week ending 15 August alone – and we need to do all we can to stop it from getting into our care homes.
"This is a national decision, but we do support the view that the vaccine is the best protection people can get from becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. It also helps to cut transmission of the virus from one person to another which is so important in our care homes.
“It’s great news that over 8 in 10 care home staff in Manchester have already had their vaccine and that number is rising every week. I would encourage their colleagues to get theirs as soon as possible if they can to meet the Government legislation.
“While taking up the offer of vaccination may, for whatever reason, be a difficult decision for a small number of individuals, it is important to remember that it not only protects you but also your colleagues and the people you care for who are most vulnerable to this deadly virus."
Manchester City Council and Manchester Local Care Organisation are providing support to care homes to help them meet the new legislation with advice and information for staff. Care home staff can access vaccinations by booking at Manchester’s hospitals or the national booking service or attending one of the vaccination centres and pop ups across the city that are open to the public. Staff are on hand to chat to staff at any of the vaccination centres and answer any questions.
The legislation also covers other professions who need to enter care homes to carry out work including hairdressers and beauticians, maintenance staff and other health and care staff. They will have to be able to show they have had both vaccinations or are medically exempt from 11 November to continue to work in homes.
Councillor Midgley, continued: "It’s really important that businesses who work with care homes and enter the home are also fully aware of the legislation. Anyone who is required to go into a care home for work purposes in anything other than an emergency needs to have had both vaccinations as well.”
You can find out the times and dates of Manchester’s vaccine centres and pop up vaccination sites on the Manchester City Council website, found here.