Care home staff will be forced to have Covid vaccinations, ministers will announce this week.
The controversial measure means 1.5million people working in social care will be told to have the jab within 16 weeks – or face losing their jobs. It has been introduced following a consultation which concluded it would help protect the most vulnerable in society.
No decision has yet been made on whether vaccination should be made mandatory for the 1.4million who work for the NHS. A separate consultation on that is to be launched. Ministers are concerned about low take-up of the coronavirus vaccine among care workers, who include care home staff plus home helps.
Despite care workers being among one of the top priority groups for Covid jabs, latest figures show that just two thirds of them have had both doses of the vaccine.
Tens of thousands of care home residents died in the pandemic, largely as a result of infections being brought in by staff during the first wave. The Daily Mail first revealed in March that the Government was considering making it a legal requirement for NHS and care home staff to have the jab.
Organisations representing care firms and their staff have warned that the move could backfire and see workers quit rather than agree to have the jab.