The vaccination programme has been a massive success to date, having only started on December 8, but now every single resident and member of staff at the UK’s 10,413 care homes has been offered at least a first dose of the vaccine.
Presumably, they will all be getting second doses before too long as well.
According to the NHS figures, England has been close to completing this key part of the process since February, when there were still five care homes left to offer doses of one of the vaccines to.
They took a few weeks to reach, but have now been completed.
Furthermore, one care home couldn’t be vaccinated until more recently because they had a coronavirus outbreak at the time, so they received their doses last week.
In order to receive the jab, patients cannot have had the virus within 28 days.
There’s still a long way to go, but it’s more good news from the NHS side of things.
Of those who have been offered the vaccine living in care homes, 273,685 out of 292,081 accepted their first dose.
That’s an acceptance rate of 93.7 percent.
However, perhaps unexpectedly, the take-up amongst care home staff has been significantly less than that.
Of the 459,176 care home staff members, 351,951 took up the offer of the inoculation, that’s just a 76.6 percent acceptance rate.
There are six areas of England where the take-up amongst care home staff has been less than 60 percent.
Lambeth, Wandsworth, Camden, Hackney, and Redbridge in London all experience poor levels of acceptance, with Lambeth recording only 45 percent of care home workers taking up a dose.
There are a few potential reasons for this, with ethnicity, education, and income all identified as factors in vaccine hesitancy, as well as exposure to misinformation and lack of trust in medical professionals.
These latest figures come as the government revealed that it is looking into forcing care home workers to accept the jab if they want to keep their job.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told LBC that ‘many’ care homes would support such a proposal.
He added: “On this one, no decision has been taken, but it is something that we are looking at.
“Because people who are looking after elderly residents in care homes, who we know to be the most vulnerable to Covid, they have a duty of care not to pass on the disease and it is a reasonable question.”