Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bexley conducted research into the views of staff who live or work in the London Borough of Bexley, who work in a care home, regarding their views on having the COVID-19 vaccine. The consultation period ran from 21st January to 9th February. The survey was designed to investigate the concerns raised by some care home providers regarding vaccine hesitancy amongst their staff and what the potential barriers to receiving the vaccine may be. Over the consultation period, Healthwatch Bexley had responses from 122 care home workers.
The responses from the survey identified that 32% of care home staff had not been vaccinated and either did not want to be vaccinated or were unsure about vaccination. Barriers to vaccination included concerns about safety, the potential long-term risks and side effects including concerns about fertility and the vaccine affecting the ability to get pregnant. Long term effects may not be known for some time, but respondents told us they may have the vaccine, but wanted to wait to see what happens to others before they are vaccinated.
Healthwatch Bexley recommended that the perception of risk should be addressed as those not yet vaccinated felt less at risk of COVID-19. Communication stressing that following government guidelines and keeping yourself healthy is not enough to protect against COVID-19. Targeted communication and events specifically aimed at care home staff in the care home setting should be provided, to answer questions and dispel myths around vaccination which may address the common barriers to being vaccinated.