Making Covid vaccines compulsory for care home workers had little effect on boosting uptake, industry insiders say — amid fears forcing the jabs on NHS workers will also be futile. 

Ministers have made it a law requirement that all elderly care home staff get their second shot by November 11, or they could lose their job. This was done in the hope of increasing uptake and protecting vulnerable residents.  

MailOnline today heard from care executives that the policy had failed to achieve its primary goal of increasing uptake and was implemented ‘without considering the consequences’. Critics warn that it will increase staff shortages. 

According to the latest figures, only 30,000 care-home workers have gotten their first vaccine since July when Parliament made it mandatory.  

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group — which represents providers in Yorkshire, said making jabs compulsory only had ‘a little bit of an effect’ on the 1.5million-strong sector.

Health chiefs are also poised to introduce the ‘no job, no jab’ policy in NHS ahead of what is expectedly a challenging winter. Despite calls to postpone the move to April to avoid a staff exodus, Over nine out of ten NHS staff have been jabbed.

Care home employees will have to be double-jabbed by next week in order to continue to work in this sector. However, there could be a loophole that allows unvaccinated employees to continue to work in the sector up to two days before Christmas. Care bosses fear this could spark a ‘mass exodus’ just ahead of Christmas Day — derailing family plans.  

The above graph shows the proportion of staff working in care homes for the over-65s who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. It reveals that there was no sharp surge in uptake when the jabs were made compulsory

The graph above shows the percentage of staff who have received the first and second doses. It is clear that there was no sudden surge in vaccinations when mandatory jabs were introduced.

Some 100,000 NHS workers are yet to get at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, figures show. The above graph shows the percentage that have got their first dose (blue line) and the percentage that have got both doses (orange line)

Figures show that 100,000 NHS workers have yet not received at least one dose. The graph below shows the percentage of NHS workers who have received their first dose (blue) and those who have received both (orange).

MailOnline was contacted by a care source representing homes in England, who requested anonymity. They said: “You ask where mandatory jabs have boosted uptake. It hasn’t.

“Initially, we were aiming for about 80 per cent vaccinations. But the figures show that these numbers have increased since becoming a requirement.

“But we found that calm persuasion was more important than making vaccinations mandatory.

Health chief: NHS workers should not be required to receive Covid vaccines until April. 

Yesterday, a chief of health said that the NHS should delay making Covid vaccinations mandatory for staff because of the difficult winter ahead.

Ministers are currently completing a consultation to determine whether doctors or nurses should be forced for their jabs. Staff members who refuse could face the sack.

Last week, Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, admitted that he was ‘leaning toward’ the no jabs, no job’ policy in England. 100,000 employees have yet to get their first dose. 

Chris Hopson (chief executive of NHS Providers) said yesterday that any deadline should be extended to April next year, so that there are enough workers for the winter.

Unions fear hospitals could be left even shorter staffed between January and March — their most difficult time of year — if the plans are brought in.

Hopson said that NHS staff should be given the same five-month period before jabs are made compulsory as those in the social care sector.

Ministers declared in June that care home workers needed to be fully vaccinated to avoid losing their jobs. But they gave them until November 11th for jabs. 

Louise Akester (36-year-old care worker from Hull) said she was ready to lose her job this week as she wasn’t prepared to get the vaccine.

Mister Hopson stated that some Cornwall homes are already being forced to recruit nurses from nearby hospitals due to staff shortages.

According to an insider, the ‘no jabs, no job’ policy was already a problem for some care homes since thousands of staff had quit after July’s mandatory jabs. It is not clear how many people were affected by the new rule. 

To make up for any shortfalls, some homes in Cornwall have to hire nurses from nearby hospitals. 

The rule that requires care home staff to be twice-vaccinated will be in effect on November 11. However, staff can still apply for an exemption.

This could allow un-jabbed workers to continue working in the sector up to December 23rd, while they wait for their exemption application to be reviewed and approved. 

MailOnline was told by a source that the Christmas period is very risky. “This is when people will leave in droves.”

To avoid chaos during Christmas, care sector stakeholders have called for an extension of the deadline of December 23.

Asked whether making jabs compulsory boosted uptake, Mr Padgham said: ‘My gut feeling is it has probably changed a few minds, but not completely.

“I have been to Government meetings and they told me they expect to lose as many as 40,000 workers from this sector by the middle of the month. That’s a huge hole.

“When something becomes compulsory, it can make people even more scared.” 

Mr Padgham also opposed mirroring the move in NHS. He claimed that quietly convincing people to get jabs had a greater positive effect. 

Pressed on whether vaccines should be compulsory for the NHS, he said: ‘ Well my own opinion is I think everyone should be vaccinated. But I believe it should be a matter that everyone can choose in a democracy.

Gavin Edwards, a spokesperson for UNISON, which represents workers in the sector, stated that ‘Jab rates were steadily increasing and although some staff will be persuaded by the threat of being fired, it has also prompted many others leave.

“If the Government had spent the last four months convincing and addressing the concerns of care workers in areas with low vaccination rates, there would have been an even greater number of staff now vaccinated.

“That’s exactly what happened in Scotland and Wales’s care sector, and throughout the NHS.

“Instead, the policy has caused alarm and worsened our staffing crisis.” One in twenty workers could be lost, which will affect care quality and leave many people without support.

Before the mandatory vaccine requirement was implemented, care homes faced a staffing crisis with over 170,000 vacancies in England. 

Nearly 411,000 of 462,000 workers in care homes for the elderly (88.9%) have already received two doses. Nearly 437,000 people (94.5%) have received their first jab.

Despite the fact that more than one-tenth of care home workers were not vaccinated at that time, figures show that there was no significant increase in uptake after the plans were approved by MPs.

There are still 25,000 workers who have yet to receive their first dose. Since Parliament made the jabs compulsory, some 8,000 workers have left the sector.

Covid vaccines are set to be compulsory for social care workers from next week. Pictured above is care home worker Louise Akester, 36, from Hull, who has said she is prepared to lose her job instead of getting the vaccine

From next week, social workers will have to receive covid vaccines. Louise Akester (36-year-old care home worker from Hull) is shown above. She has stated that she is willing to lose her job in order to get the vaccine.

36-year-old care home worker would rather lose her job than receive the Covid vaccine 

One worker in a care home said that she would rather lose her job than receive the Covid vaccination.

Louise Akester (36), is a Hull resident who has been in the sector almost a decade.

She is currently tested for the virus three days a week and wears PPE at home.

However, she will not be able to work in the sector after next week when all staff must receive vaccines.

She told HullLive: ‘I genuinely love my job with all my heart, I only earn minimum wage so believe me it isn’t the money keeping me there.

“But November 5, will be one of my most difficult days when I have my last goodbyes to all my lovely residents.

‘When I have to leave that building at the end of my final shift knowing that I can no longer return as an employee, all because apparently now I’m not good enough to protect them due to refusing the vaccines.

“This should be my fundamental human right. I don’t deserve to be punished just for saying “no”.

Ms Akester stated that she did not want to receive the Covid vaccine until it was clearer about the ‘potential long term side effects’.

Rigorous scientific studies have found the three jabs in use in the UK — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca — are safe and slash someone’s risk of hospitalisation and death if they catch the virus.

They were first used in clinical trials over a year ago.

More than nine in ten adults — or over 45million people — have got at least one dose.

Following a consultation, The Department of Health stated that it would make Covid mandatory for care home staff in June.

Matt Hancock, then-Health Secretary at the time, stated that it would “keep reducing the risks” for residents living in care homes. 

On July 13, Parliament voted in favor of the plans, but many MPs condemned the move as ministers failed to publish an assessment of their impact.  

A second consultation is now complete to determine if all NHS staff should be told to get the Covid or flu vaccines, or lose their jobs.

Sajid Javid, the current Health Secretary, has stated that he is ‘leaning toward’ the ‘no job, no jab’ policy for hospital staff.

Yesterday, Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said that any move should be delayed to April due to the difficult winter ahead.

He told BBC Breakfast:  ‘We know — and the chief medical officer has said this really clearly — that we’ve got a very, very difficult winter coming up and we know the NHS is going to be absolutely at full stretch.

“So, it makes good sense to set the deadline after the winter period has expired.

‘We know that January, February, often early March is very busy, so that’s why we’re saying today that we think an April 2022 deadline is a sensible time.’

Mr Hopson stated that if there are large losses of staff over the winter, our ability to provide care may also be compromised.

Official figures show that almost 100,000 vacancies existed in England’s NHS between June and April last year.

Care homes also had a shortage of nearly 112,000 workers. Bosses warned that the ‘no jabs, no jobs’ policy would only exacerbate the crisis.

In the NHS there are some 105,000 employees — more than the entire vacancy list — that are yet to get their first dose of the vaccine.

Around 89 percent of employees (1.3 million out of 1.45million) have received two doses and 1.34million have received their first dose. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul is the chair of British Medical Association. He warned that the NHS faces a severe workforce shortage and that any reduction in healthcare workers could have devastating effects on patient services.

He stated, “The Government should explore all options for those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons or may refuse to do so, such as remote working, redeployment and greater PPE protection. Also, more frequent testing. 

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health stated that vaccines save lives. While residents and staff in care homes have been given priority and are all now vaccinated to their full potential, it is our responsibility as a government agency to protect vulnerable individuals.

“Over 90 percent of care home staff have received their first doses of a Covid vaccination. We are working closely to ensure that there will always be enough staff to deliver high quality care.