Letter: Proof needed that carers have Covid vaccine

Rachel Moore calls for us to think of those living at home alone or those suffering from long-term m

Currently, care agency staff don't have to show patients proof that they have had the Covid vaccine - Credit: Getty Images

Are vaccine passports the answer?

S Smith, Dagenham, full address supplied, writes:

There is much publicity regarding the number of staff in care homes having so far declined to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and, despite attracting less publicity, the same situation exists with care agency staff helping those living in their own homes.

Whilst issues of personal choice come into play, regarding vaccination, the safety of vulnerable care recipients must obviously be the primary consideration and is after all the very reason for the existence of the jobs of those working in the sector.

Despite widespread vaccination of the elderly and vulnerable having already taken place, I suggest that in interest of additional safety for those who require it, recipients of care should have the option of refusing to receive care from unvaccinated staff and should have some way of verifying that their wishes are being respected.

A general view of an elderly woman holding a cup of tea at home.

Should recipients of home care have the option of refusing care from unvaccinated staff? - Credit: PA Images

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With the above points in mind, I contacted my elderly mother’s care agency to enquire if they keep a register of vaccinated staff and whether it is available to their clients.

I was informed that they do indeed possess a register but that, due to “issues of confidentiality”, it is not available to clients – I feel that this is an unsatisfactory situation.

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I discussed my concerns with one of my mother’s carers who agreed on the need to set clients’ minds at rest and said she had mused on the possibility of laminating, and wearing around her neck, the small record card given to recipients at the times of vaccination.

I consider this to be a worthwhile proposal but feel that carers – who are not very highly paid – should not be put to the expense and inconvenience of arranging and paying for the lamination.

Clearly the suggestion is along the lines of the already proposed vaccine passport which has been a contentious issue, however I suggest that the care and wellbeing of the elderly and vulnerable should be a top priority and sufficient to overrule the objections against vaccination passports more generally.

In short, a highly conspicuous and distinctive badge or cardholder, confirming vaccination status, should be issued to all appropriate persons in the care sector to help allay fears and also reduce the risk of infection in those who are at particular risk.

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