Social care staff are being urged to make sure they have their Covid-19 vaccine.
Frontline health and social care staff are already eligible for the life-saving jab, and thousands of residential and home care staff in Wolverhampton have had theirs.
However, it is estimated that around a third of social care staff nationally are yet to do so – and are putting themselves and the people they care for at risk from coronavirus.
Councillor Linda Leach, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "It's really important that everyone gets their vaccination as soon as they are able to, but particularly our city's wonderful social care staff – not just to protect themselves from Covid-19 but also to enable them to continue doing their vital work at this time.
"It's great news that so many social care staff have already been vaccinated, but it is worrying that for whatever reason, a third haven't yet had their jabs, and it’s important that they do so as soon as possible. I’d also ask responsible employers to do all they can to ensure members of their workforce are vaccinated against this deadly virus.
“I would also encourage all health and social care staff to make sure they get a weekly rapid Covid-19 test because, while we know the vaccine offers a great deal of protection if someone were to catch coronavirus, we don't yet know how effective it is at preventing them from passing it on to someone else, for instance the person they are caring for.
“Employers have been asked by the Government to make routine testing available to social care staff and encourage them to have a test in line with the guidance, and again I would urge everyone working in frontline care services to ensure this is happening.”
In addition to routine testing, social care workers are classed as 'critical workers' and so have priority access to rapid testing at the Civic Centre between 8am and 9am, Monday to Friday; Pendeford Library from 7am-10am and 4pm-6pm, Monday to Friday; and Bilston Community Centre between 8am and 9am Monday, Thursday and Friday. Workers are asked to bring a form of ID to prove eligibility. Alternatively, they can attend one of Wolverhampton's six rapid tests sites at other times. For full details, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus-testing.
For more details about Covid-19 vaccinations for social care workers, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covid19-advice-providing-care.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. Information about the vaccine can be found at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidvaccine. Further details of the lockdown restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/covidalert.