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THANKS given to frontline health and care staff as leaders say their Covid-19 vaccinations have never been more important.
Health and care staff across Wiltshire, Swindon Bath and North East Somerset have been praised as large numbers of them come forward to have the Covid-19 vaccination.
The percentage of NHS workers across the region who have received one dose of the coronavirus jab is currently at 98 per cent. This includes staff from the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, the Royal United Hospital in Bath and Salisbury District Hospital, as well as those based in more than 90 local GP practices.
Approximately 97 per cent have also received both doses, which is higher than the national average of 88 per cent.
The two separate vaccinations ensure that staff not only have the best form of protection against the virus, but also less likely to pass on Covid-19 to their patients and colleagues.
Vaccine uptake among staff working in care homes has been lower than their NHS counterparts, with approximately 91 per cent of care home staff having received one jab and 83 per cent having had both.
Leaders are now calling on any care workers yet to be vaccinated to come forward without delay.
Earlier this year, the government introduced new legislation which requires all care home staff working in CQC-regulated care homes in England to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by Thursday 11 November, unless exempt.
To meet the November deadline, those yet to receive a coronavirus jab must have had their first dose by Thursday 16 September.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “We know that Covid-19, like other respiratory viruses, spreads more easily during the winter and, as we approach these colder months, the need for our health and care workers to be fully vaccinated has never been greater.
“It is really important to us that our fantastic health and care staff are kept safe, and I’d strongly urge any person yet to have the vaccine to come forward.
“As health and care professionals, we also have a duty to keep this awful virus away from the very people we are looking after, and the Covid-19 vaccine is a simple and safe way for us to do exactly that.”
In recent weeks, the CCG, local authorities and care home managers have been working together to encourage workers to take up the vaccine offer, and this collaboration will continue throughout September and October.
Vaccine information sessions have been held at care homes across the region, alongside individual meetings with staff, and teams are now exploring the possibility of running pop-up vaccine clinics in care homes where uptake has been lower than expected.
Dozens of coronavirus vaccine clinics remain open across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, with many now offering people the opportunity to walk-in without an appointment.
Details of these sites can be found online at www.nhs.uk.
Further local information about the vaccination programme is also available at www.bswccg.nhs.uk.