'Real disappointment' over uptake of Covid vaccine among care home staff

A Covid-19 AstraZenaca vaccine at the NHS Nightingale facility at the Excel Centre, London

A Covid-19 AstraZenaca vaccine - Credit: Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA

Less than half of care home staff across five north London boroughs had a Covid-19 vaccine jab, councillors have been told.

A senior medic described the figure – covering Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington – as a “real disappointment”, as health chiefs discussed ways to boost uptake among “vaccine-resistant” groups.

At a meeting of Barnet’s health overview and scrutiny committee on February 22, Dr Charlotte Benjamin, vice chairman at North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (NCL), said uptake among its care home staff was 48-49%, describing it as a “real disappointment”.

“Lots of work is being done,” Dr Benjamin said. “I have done lots of webinars with staff to answer questions and just do a bit of the unblocking as to what people are concerned about.

“I think it’s a rolling stone, and sometimes people who are care home staff might be from communities where very few other people are having [the vaccine] – so them having it is really key.

“We are going to carry on with the encouragement. We are getting there, but it is hard graft."