All care home residents in Barking and Dagenham have first jab of vaccine but carers slow on uptake

All care home residents in Barking and Dagenham have had a coronavirus vaccine, the council has said.

But councillors warned there was a slower uptake of jabs among frontline carers.

The borough still has some of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country with 915 positive tests per 100,000 people in the week ending January 16.

The council’s cabinet heard that vaccinations had now taken place in every care home and almost 70 per cent of people over eighty in the borough had received the first jab.

However, many frontline staff eligible for the vaccine had not come forward.

Cabinet member for health, Maureen Worby said: “The good news is every residents in our care homes has now had a vaccination and we are at almost 70 per cent of our over eighties. Everybody in those [priority] categories has been offered the vaccine. But not everyone has taken it up.

“With the elderly the uptake has been really really strong, because they are vulnerable and they want to have the vaccine. There is a slower uptake among some of the frontline workers.

“There are some myths out there about the safety of having the vaccine and all I can say is it is safe,” Cllr Worby added. “There are no risks…Please if you are offered the vaccine, have it. Because you need to take it to protect others.”

Almost two-thirds of elderly care home residents in England have had the vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said today, with almost 200 jabs being administered every minute.

A spokesman for NHS London said: “We will continue to prioritise the vaccination of care home residents and staff in line with Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice and are making good progress, with over half of care home residents in London receiving their first dose between December 8 and January 17.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter