Following an intensive vaccination programme launched in January this year, 97 per cent of all care staff in the borough have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, with all eligible 1628 staff now fully protected.
This includes staff working at all 31 of the borough’s care homes, among them care workers, nurses, managers, cooks, cleaners, administration and maintenance staff. Only staff with medical exemptions or those who have chosen to leave the industry have not received the vaccine.
This follows the comprehensive vaccination programme for care home residents in the borough, which since January this year has seen 969 care home residents fully vaccinated. In addition 754 have already received their booster vaccinations.
The council has also worked closely with St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the care homes themselves to deliver a support and information programme to both residents and staff.
Led by Dr Hilary Flett, St Helens CCG’s Lead GP for the vaccine rollout in the borough, this has included a series of information and ‘Myth Busting’ sessions with staff and residents, addressing any concerns that they may have about receiving the vaccinations.
Councillor Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage said: “Our priority with the vaccination programme for care homes in the borough has to ensure that both our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them receive the earliest protection possible against Covid-19.
“Thanks to the tremendous efforts of both our care staff and St Helens CCG we have been able to achieve this extremely quickly. The emergence of the Omicron variant now locally shows just how important their efforts have been and we will be hoping to achieve similar results with our current booster vaccination programme”.
Rachel Cleal, Director of Adult Social Services with St Helens Borough Council, said: “The success of the vaccination programme is very much down to the very hard work that staff at all of our care homes have put in during the last year and beyond. Their support and engagement has been keen key in helping to roll out the programme so quickly.
“Thanks to their continued efforts we now have an environment where both residents and staff are safer and better protected, which is especially important with the emergence of new variants of the virus.”
Dr Michael Ejuoneatse, local GP and Medical Director for St Helens CCG, added: “This is really good news and means that people who are among our most vulnerable residents in St Helens can be confident that are as protected as they can be from Covid-19. I’d like to thank everyone for their hard work in making this happen and ensuring such a successful roll out.”