MPs have expressed concerns and an overwhelming disappointment that only 25% of care staff that care for elderly people daily are vaccinated against the flu.
A cross-party group of MPs are calling for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ‘take action’ against care homes’ poor immunisation rates, poor recording of flu jab uptake and to expect full coverage among staff working with those most at risk.
In a report, the MPs on the House of Commons’ Science and Technology select committee said: “We were shocked by survey results from Public Health England (PHE) which showed that the best flu vaccination uptake in social care settings was around 25%.
“The poor response rate was also disappointing.”
MPs said the case for vaccinations for staff working in care settings ‘is just as strong, if not stronger, than those working in hospitals.’
In 2017, NHS England said it would add care home workers to the eligible groups for NHS flu vaccination through GP practice and community pharmacies.
“We welcome the extension of the NHS programme to frontline social care workers.”
Age UK’s director, Caroline Abrahams, has also joined the call for care workers as well as elderly people to have the flu jab.
She said: “Older people who need care or are in care settings are also all too often vulnerable and can be more susceptible to flu.
“It is vital that older people and the care workers who care for them are vaccinated, which means better implementation across the care sector and better rollout across the country.”