The Government says it will be mandatory for all adult care home workers in England – including care staff and any workers whose duties require them to enter an adult care home – to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from 11 November, 2021, unless they are medically exempt.
That means workers have until 16 September to get the first dose of their vaccine so that they can be fully vaccinated in time, allowing for an 8 week gap between doses.
People living in adult care homes are particularly vulnerable to severe illness and death from Covid-19, and the Government 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".
Some 87% of care home staff in Wolverhampton have now been vaccinated, according to latest figures, and the remainder have 3 weeks in which to get their first jab.
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "Care homes up and down the country have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 and, despite the fantastic efforts of staff to keep their residents safe, around 7,000 care homes in England have sadly registered at least one death related to coronavirus.
"We cannot lose sight of the fact that the virus hasn't gone away. Nearly 1,000 people in Wolverhampton tested positive for Covid-19 last week alone – and we need to do all we can to stop it from getting into our care homes.
"The vaccine is the best protection people can get from becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and it’s reassuring that nearly 9 in 10 adult care home staff in Wolverhampton have already had their vaccine. I would encourage the remainder – and anyone else who is required to go into a care home for work purposes – to get theirs as soon as possible if they can.
“Time is of the essence, because to be fully vaccinated by 11 November, you must have your first jab by 16 September.
“This is of course potentially a very difficult time for some staff who may have decided not to take the vaccination, and we urge employers to work with them and discuss their concerns.
“However it is important to remember that, ultimately, getting vaccinated not only protects you but also your colleagues and the people you care for who are most vulnerable to this deadly virus."
People can book their vaccine by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines or calling 119. There are also dozens of walk in clinics taking place each week, offering first or second doses to anyone aged 18 and over and, in many cases, 16+. Full details, including locations, opening times and vaccine type, are available at Walk-in vaccinations.
Latest figures show there were 375.9 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the last 7 days. That means 989 people tested positive for the virus in that same period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.