The National Care Forum (NCF) have carried out a snapshot survey into the take up of covid-19 vaccinations in the social care workforce.

The survey revealed that there is a long way still to go if the government wants to meet its 15 February target of offering the vaccination to all social care staff.

The response came from organisations representing 1500 social care services in England over the 8th and 9th February 2021. The survey covers staff from different types of care settings, with each category of service answering questions about staff take up and access to vaccines.

The biggest gaps appear to be in domiciliary care services – where 38% of those responding had less than 40% of their staff vaccinated.

Settings with more than 70% of staff vaccinated

Settings with less than 40% of staff vaccinated

Reasons for Lack of Take up

When examining the reasons for lack of take up of the vaccine, there is an interesting emerging picture.

  • In older peoples care homes, where vaccination take up is generally significantly higher, responses would suggest that issues around medical reasons and hesitancy are absolutely key for current levels of vaccine take up, although the very practical issue of staff being unavailable when the vaccination team was visiting remains a challenge.
  • In services where vaccination is currently much less prevalent it appears there is much more balance across the reasons for not having the vaccine with issues such as lack of access, already having a future booked appointment and hesitancy all playing a relatively equal part.
  • The exception to this appears to be care homes for working age adults, where hesitancy appears to be a really dominant reason for lack of vaccination. This would be an area where there needs to be more work to understand the reasons behind this and what support should be offered specifically targeted at this workforce.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director at the NCF says:

“When it comes to vaccination hesitancy, social care providers need to be supported with tailored resources to build confidence in the vaccine programme, address staff concerns and combat misinformation.  We all want to see all care workers offered the vaccine as soon as possible, in line with the government’s target to vaccinate all social care staff by 15 February.”

View the full details and response on the NCF website