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All pharmacists working in care home will be required by law to be fully Covid-vaccinated under new measures to protect residents.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DoH) announced on Wednesday (June 17) that from October, anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England must have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical exemption.

This will apply to all full-time or part-time workers employed directly by a care home or a care home provider, those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home as well as volunteers deployed in the care home.

Those coming into care homes to do other work, for example healthcare workers, including pharmacists, as well as hairdressers and beauticians, CQC inspectors and tradespeople – all will also have to follow the new regulations.

According to DoH, the decision follows an extensive public consultation which was launched in April with thousands of staff, providers, residents and families. The responses to the consultation also made a case for extending the policy beyond care homes to other settings. Based on this evidence, the government plans to launch a further public consultation on whether or not to make Covid-19 and flu vaccination a condition of deployment in all health and care settings.

“Through our consultation we have listened to the experiences and concerns of providers and people living and working in care homes to help shape our approach,” health secretary Matt Hancock said.

“We have a responsibility to do all we can to safeguard those receiving care, including in the NHS, and so will be consulting further on whether to extend to other health and social care workers.

“This is the right thing to do and a vitally important step to continue protecting care homes now and in the future. I’d urge anyone working in care homes to get their jab as soon as possible.”

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