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COVID-19 vaccination


Information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme for social care staff and people using care services. See related information on Testing and care.

Information from the DHSC, PHE and NHS is updated regularly. 

Vaccination as a condition of deployment§

VCOD: self-certification of exemption extended to March 2022 – 8 December 2021 – DHSC

DHSC letter confirms extension of the cut-off date for self-certification for care home workers. This means that self-certification forms will continue to be valid until 31 March 2022, so long as they have been received before 24 December 2021.

Extending the cut-off for self-certification will allow time for individuals whose formal medical exemption is unsuccessful to be fully vaccinated before 31 March 2022.

Care home workers who wish to apply for a formal medical exemption should do so as soon as possible and inform their employer of the outcome of their application once they receive it.


Vaccination as condition of deployment: Q&A – Updated 8 October 2021 – CPA

This Question and Answer briefing is based on Government guidance and two Care Provider Alliance (CPA) webinars with NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and other sector experts on the implications and implementation of COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of deployment in care homes in England. It will be updated as we receive additional information. Please keep checking this web page for updated versions.


Data protection and checking vaccination records in care homes – 12 November 2021 – Digital Social Care

Care homes may process information about vaccination or medical exemption status, but this must be done in a way that is consistent with data protection legislation. This includes updating the information asset register, record of processing activity, and privacy notice. Care homes will also be required to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). Digital Social Care has published draft privacy notice and DPIA for care home managers to use.


Making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector: Government response – 9 November 2021 - DHSC

The government will be introducing regulations to only allow providers of CQC-regulated activities to deploy individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to roles where they interact with patients and service users. These regulations will require workers who have direct, face to face contact with service users to provide evidence that they have been vaccinated, subject to limited exceptions. This will include front-line workers, as well as non-clinical workers not directly involved in patient care but who nevertheless may have direct, face to-face contact with patients, such as receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners.

Shared Lives caring arrangements are excluded from the requirements.

Subject to parliamentary passage, these regulations will come into force on 1 April 2022.


Visting professionals – 29 October 2021- DHSC

All professionals visiting care homes from 11 November 2021 must be either fully vaccinated, or exempt. The Department of Health and Social Care has written a letter to visiting professionals which (alongside a range of other materials) can be found on Skills for Care’s vaccination resource page. They have also added two items to the stakeholder toolkit – a social media graphic and a poster for care homes to display. Via colleagues in other government departments, they have also sent these materials to organisations representing hairdressers and beauticians, tradespeople, community volunteers, small businesses and people who are self-employed.


Vaccination as a condition of deployment guidance – Updated 19 October 2021 - DHSC

From 11 November 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a care home will need to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), unless exempt.

The regulations require care home providers to deploy only those staff and volunteers who have received a complete course of their COVID-19 vaccination unless they are medically exempt. Any professionals visiting a care home, such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors will also be required to show they have been vaccinated before entering the home, unless they have an exemption.

The guidance includes information about exemptions and demonstrating and recording information.

Temporary self-certification of a medical exemptions are in place until 24 December 2021.


COVID-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated – 1 October 2021 - DHSC

Some individuals are unable to be vaccinated and/or tested for medical reasons. You can apply for proof that you have a medical reason why you should not be vaccinated and/or tested. If you get this proof of medical exemption you’ll be able to use the NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to prove your COVID-19 status within England.


VCOD and temporary self-certification on exemptions – 16 September – DHSC

Department of Health and Social Care summary of key points in relation to the temporary self-certification arrangements in relation to vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes.


VOCD and HR issues – 16 September 2021 – CPA

Recording and presentation from CPA webinar for adult care home managers and HR leads will look at the HR and workforce management issues of implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of deployment in adult social care homes in England. (Disclaimer: The information on this webinar does not constitute legal advice, or the CPA's formal position. Employers should check their Employers and Public Liability Insurance arrangements, and seek their own legal advice.)

View the webinar recording

View the presentation


VCOD exemptions temporary process – 15 September 2021 – DHSC

The DHSC has published details about the exemptions process for the vaccination as a condition of deployment regulations. It outlines the non-exhaustive list of medical exemptions from the Covid-19 vaccine and the temporary self-certification system to declare them. This temporary system will expire 12 weeks after the NHS COVID Pass System is launched.

Vaccination as condition of deployment: webinar presentation – 26 August 2021 – CPA

Presentation from CPA webinar, including contributions from CQC and NHS England.


Vaccination as a condition of deployment DHSC letter – 4 August 2021 – DHSC 

A letter has also been sent to local authority chief executives, directors of adult social services, care home providers and care home managers from DHSC Director, Claire Armstrong, to accompany the guidance.

Vaccinations for NHS staff entering care homes letter and FAQ – 20 August - NHSE and NHSI
Letter for commissioners and providers explaining that the new regulations also apply to NHS staff entering care homes.

Legislation to mandate covid vaccine: CPA letter to Member of the House of Lords – Push the pause button – 17 July 2021 - CPA

The Care Provider Alliance has written to members of the House of Lords, asking them to ‘push the pause button’ on the legislation to mandate covid vaccine for care home staff which will be in debated in the Lords on 20 July 2021.

We are “writing to confirm that while we are strongly in favour of vaccination for social care staff and recognise the benefits and the extremely low risks of this, we have concerns. We ask that you carefully consider our concerns and push the pause button on this piece of legislation until you are completely satisfied that you have all the facts before you.”

ARC England member briefing: Mandating vaccination as a condition of employment - ARC

This briefing has been developed by ARC England and is endorsed by the CPA. It is based on legal advice and information covered includes:

  • an overview of the new requirement
  • communication with staff
  • employment contracts
  • medical exemption
  • risk assessment for service safety
  • employer liability insurance

Vaccination policy template – 28 July 2021 – ARC England

ARC England has developed a draft policy template which can be used to develop a vaccination policy for your organisation. In offering the example, ARC is not able to guarantee that the policy meets UK employment law or other relevant legislation. Providers are advised to seek appropriate professional advice in relation to changes made to the employment contracts of existing staff.

Resources on vaccination as a condition of deployment - DHSC

Resources are available at DHSC’s stakeholder google drive, including: 

Vaccination as condition of deployment – Skills for Care

Skills for Care vaccination as a condition of deployment resource centre.

Our experience of vaccination as a condition of deployment – 4 August 2021 – Barchester

Blog by Dr Pete Calveley, CEO of Barchester, on their experiences of implementing a similar policy this year. 

Care staff and people using services§

Guidance updated to allow flexibility in booster programme for most vulnerable – 29 October 2021 - DHSC

Clinical guidance has been updated to allow COVID-19 boosters to be given earlier to those at highest risk where this makes operational sense. This includes people living in care homes.


Book or manage a COVID vaccine boosters – NHS

NHS booking service for booster dose of covid vaccination if eligible. Care workers can also use this service if it is 6 months since their second covid vaccination.


COVID-19 vaccination: easy-read leaflets

Easy-read guides providing information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and vaccination, including boosters.


COVID-19 vaccination: booster dose resources – Updated 19 October 2021 – UK Health Security Agency

Information on the booster dose for eligible individuals – including translated resources

Preparing for vaccinations in Autumn/Winter 2021: DHSC letter – 2 September 2021 – DHSC

Letter from Claire Armstrong Director of Adult Social Care Delivery and Covid-19 Response. Key messages within the letter include:

“The details of how COVID-19 boosters will be delivered will depend on further advice from the JCVI, and we will soon follow up on this when we know more on how and when the booster programme for COVID-19 will be rolled out.” It is “vital that we encourage and support social care workers to get a flu vaccination as soon as possible via the normal route and not to wait for the availability of co-administration.”

JCVI issues advice on third dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed – 1 September 2021 - PHE

The JCVI is advising that people with severely weakened immune systems should have a third vaccine dose as part of their primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule. The NHS will contact people as soon as possible to discuss their needs and arrange an appointment for a third dose where clinically appropriate.

The following guidance all includes regularly updated information about vaccination requirements for staff and people using services.

COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for social care staff –PHE

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent form and letter templates for social care staff. Added letter template for frontline social care staff.

COVID-19 vaccination: consent forms and letters for care home residents - PHE

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent forms and letter templates for care home residents.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes – DHSC, CQC, PHE and NHSE

How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19) – DHSC, CQC, PHE and NHSE
Guidance for providers of supported living settings.

Visits out of care homes – DHSC
The measures described in this guidance relate to visits where the resident leaves the care home premises.

Guidance on care home visiting – DHSC 
This guidance applies to residential care homes and care home residents of all ages.

COVID-19 vaccination programme - general§

COVID-19 vaccination programme –PHE

All PHE and DHSC documents relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination statistics, plans and documentation - DHSC
This page brings together COVID-19 vaccination programme-related documents published by DHSC, and vaccination statistics published by other bodies.

Standard operating procedure: COVID-19 local vaccination services deployment in community settings – NHSEI

This standard operating procedure describes the operating model and design requirements for safe delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in the community.

COVID-19: the green book, chapter 14a - PHE

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination information for public health professionals.

COVID-19 vaccination: what to expect after vaccination– Public Health England

Information and promotional resources for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting DHSC

Information on the benefits and risks of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Special groups, including vaccine hesitancy§

Health conditions and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS

Charities have worked with the NHS to produce advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and certain health conditions.

COVID-19 vaccine and severe mental illness –– Equally Well UK

A guide for people with severe mental illness and their carers on what to expect from the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Vaccine – Mencap

A range of resources for people with learning disabilities and their families, including easy-read guides.

Covid-19 vaccination: a guide for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding – Public Health England

Information for women of childbearing age to read before vaccination.

Health conditions and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS 

Charities have worked with the NHS to produce advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and certain health conditions.

COVID-19 vaccine and severe mental illness –– Equally Well UK

A guide for people with severe mental illness and their carers on what to expect from the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Vaccine – Mencap

A range of resources for people with learning disabilities and their families, including easy-read guides.

Covid-19 vaccination: a guide for all women of childbearing age, pregnant or breastfeeding – Public Health England 

Information for women of childbearing age to read before vaccination.

Communication and learning resources§

COVID-19 vaccine communications toolkit - DHSC

The DHSC Covid-19 communications toolkit includes a suite of creative content assets for organisations to use about the covid vaccine. The toolkit includes a series of videos on issues such as:

  • Vaccine safety, risks and ingredients
  • The regulator’s critical role
  • Vaccine safety and testing
  • How the vaccine works.
  • Encouraging uptake of vaccine for BAME communities
  • Encouraging uptake of vaccine for the social care workforce

It also includes copy to support sharing the videos on social posts or websites; Vaccine facts cards for social media with social copy - covering key information on the vaccines.

DHSC will be updating and adding to this toolkit regularly and also signposts people to PHE's campaign resource centre where more helpful vaccine related resources will be available as and when they are ready.

Information about COVID-19 vaccines in a range of languages DHSC

Many of the resources on COVID have been translated into a range of languages (plus some in English large print and BSL):

Guide for adults

A guide for social care staff

What to expect after covid 19 vaccination

Vaccination and pregnancy

COVID-19 Vaccination e-learning HEE

The e-learning programme is designed to provide the health and care workforce involved in the national COVID-19 vaccination programme with the knowledge they need to deliver the vaccine programme effectively.