Support available to ensure healthcare workers can get vaccines and boosters.
Nursing home staff and those working in social services are urged to get a booster shot in the fight against the spread of the Omicron variant.
Scottish government financial support is available for adult care providers who incur additional costs if employees are vaccinated during their working time – so staff can do so without losing income or having to take annual leave.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf thanked staff for their efforts, but said the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 made it more important than ever that healthcare workers receive their COVID-19 booster vaccines, tested themselves regularly and maintain infection prevention measures. Booster vaccine uptake rates are currently lower among social service staff, with 47.7% of frontline social workers and 54.8% of nursing home staff being boosted, than in many others. other sectors such as frontline health workers (72%). .
Mr. Yousaf said:
“I would like to thank everyone who works in social services who accepted the offer of vaccination and received a booster. But I want to encourage every social worker to get vaccinated. Even if you’ve been doubly vaccinated, we know your immunity to COVID-19 wanes over time. Getting your booster is even more important with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Please do so as soon as possible.
“I am very grateful to all of our social workers for their continued resilience and continued commitment during what I know continues to be a very difficult time. I know the staff are likely to feel particularly tired after more than 20 months of the pandemic and I want to thank all of you for supporting each other and working together as we continue to go through this.
“However, we know that the participation rate among people working in nursing homes and social services is not as high as in other sectors. It is crucial, especially for those who work with some of our most vulnerable citizens, that you get your recall if you haven’t already.
“Getting the vaccine is essential to protect yourself, your loved ones, your friends and your family. “
An online reservation portal for health and social services workers is accessible at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/vaccinations-for-health-and-social-care-workers
The latest data on vaccine uptake, including a breakdown by JCVI priority group, can be found here: COVID-19 Daily Dashboard | Public Table
Staff are also encouraged to check their local board of health website and social media for walk-in clinics that may be available. These are also listed by Board of Health area on the NHS Inform at www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/vaccine-open-access-services
Those without online access can also call the national helpline on 0800 030 8013 to make an appointment.
Nursing home staff are now encouraged to perform daily LFD testing in addition to their weekly PCR test, and all social service staff are also encouraged to perform daily LFD testing.
Nursing homes should continue to facilitate and assist residents to meet face-to-face with family and friends, consistent with the safeguards outlined in sector guidelines, including encouraging and assisting family and friends to get tested. before their visit.