The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty urged adult care home staff to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at a Downing Street press conference earlier today (March 29) after it emerged several boroughs in south London reported low uptakes of the vaccine among that key demographic.
Whitty said care home staff like medical staff had a “professional responsibility” to get vaccinated against coronavirus and therefore better protect the people they were looking after.
His words came after it emerged last week that several boroughs in south London, including Lambeth and Wandsworth, had among the lowest rates of vaccine take-up among adult care home staff of anywhere in the country.
Responding to those figures Monday, Whitty said:
“Certainly, when we are talking about medical or nursing staff, I have said before and I will say very unambiguously: I do consider people who are looking after other people who are very vulnerable do have a professional responsibility to get vaccinated and to do other things that help protect the people who they are looking after.”
“If you’re hearing stories about vaccines and you’re concerned about them, go to reliable sources”
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 29, 2021
He was responding to figures which showed just 45 per cent of eligible older adult care staff in Lambeth, south London, had received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of March 21.
That was the lowest figure for any local authority in England, according to the NHS data.
This was followed by Wandsworth at 55.8 per cent, Luton at 57.6 per cent, and Camden at 58.6 per cent, the figures showed.
This compares with Shropshire, which had the highest proportion in England, at 87.4 per cent
Staff are classed as eligible for the vaccine if they have not had Covid-19 in the previous 28 days.
Prof Whitty added the “great majority” of care staff nationally had received the vaccine.
In a message to care staff, he said the vaccine “will protect you and your family”, and stressed the need to seek out reliable sources of information to counter “some misinformation” about the jabs.
“Compared to the risk of Covid, the risk of the vaccines is much smaller,” he told a Downing Street press conference.