More than 90 per cent of staff across Coverage Care homes have now had a coronavirus jab as huge efforts are made to return to normal following the pandemic.
In some homes, uptake of the vaccine among workers has been as high as 100 per cent, significantly reducing the risk of infection to vulnerable residents.
Coverage Care Chief Executive David Coull said it was a major step forward for the organisation as homes began to adjust to a post-pandemic routine.
“Having such a high proportion of staff vaccinated against the coronavirus is extremely good news for everyone,” said Mr Coull.
“It’s helping tremendously to keep infection rates down and it is providing staff and residents with the protection and confidence needed to help us return to a more normal pre-pandemic life.
“The vaccination programme along with testing has enabled us to welcome back visitors and we hope the government will be able to continue with its gradual and cautious easing of Covid restrictions over the next few weeks and months.
“We’ve had very few members of staff decline the vaccine but when they have, there have been sound medical or religious reasons for doing so in the majority of cases.”
Latest NHS figures show that Shropshire is above regional and national averages for uptake of the vaccine among workers.
However, the Government is currently considering making it law for care home staff looking after older adult residents to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
A five-week national consultation is currently under way to seek views on the introduction of mandatory vaccinations, but Mr Coull outlined today that any such move could present significant challenges for care home providers.
He said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents and staff is always our top priority but forcing staff to have the vaccine by making it a mandatory requirement of their employment brings with it a difficult set of practical and moral challenges and the implications of these need extremely careful thought.
“There is an issue around potential staffing shortages and the impact of this on care for the elderly longer-term and of course the matter of respecting people’s individual choices.
“Whilst we would always openly encourage our staff to have the vaccine, we also appreciate and respect there may be medical, personal or religious reasons which mean they choose not to be vaccinated and we don’t feel that this should impact on their terms of employment.
“With this in mind, we hope the results of the ongoing consultation will be considered carefully by the government before any action is taken.”