Care homes

Care Home Workers May Have to Sign New Contracts, Forcing Them to Get Covid Vaccines

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Government is considering making Covid vaccination for care home workers mandatory. Details have since been given regarding what form this legal obligation could take, with reports suggesting that staff could be forced to sign new contracts. The Telegraph has the story.

Hundreds of thousands of care home workers could have to sign new contracts as part of a bid to force them to get the Covid jab, ministers have admitted.

Ministers are concerned that only around two-thirds of care home workers have agreed to receive a jab. …

Ministers feel compelled to act amid alarm at the low take-up of vaccines among staff in care homes, where many of those most at risk from Covid live.

Only around a quarter of care homes in London, and half in some parts of England, have reached the level of vaccination among staff and residents deemed safe by Government scientists.

However, there are concerns that any change could take months to implement because of a requirement to change the contracts of health care workers to make a jab a condition of work.

In a House of Commons debate, Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt said that new contracts would have to be signed for this change to be implemented.

Contracts would have to be rewritten if vaccinations were to be made compulsory.

Other officials have highlighted, however, that this would take a long time to put into place and would be vulnerable to legal challenge.

One Cabinet minister said it would take time by varying all existing contracts and “that might be tested in court”. The minister said there would have to be medical exemptions for those who could not be vaccinated, but there there had to be “some sort of intervention”.

Worth reading in full.

Up to Two Thirds of Serious Covid Infections are Caught in Hospital – Study

An important pre-print was published last week by Public Health Scotland looking at how all 204,913 people eligible for shielding (the “clinically extremely vulnerable”) – about 3% of the population – have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers matched all 160,307 positive cases of COVID-19 (as of January 28th) to individuals in Scotland to form a complete picture of the course of their illness in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the shielding programme.

Their striking conclusion was they found “no evidence that the shielding programme per se reduced COVID-19 rates”, though they allowed for the possibility that “without shielding advice and support the outcome in this group would have been worse”.