From 11th November 2021, you must have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine to work in a care home in England, unless you have a medical exemption.
This law affects you if you’re a nurse, carer or support worker booking shifts in England through Florence Flex.
Here, we answer your questions about what’s happening and what you need to do next…
Vaccine law questions and answers
1. When do I need to have my first vaccine?
You should have your first vaccine as soon as possible.
Key dates to know:
- 16th September is the cut-off date for having your first vaccine.
- 11th November is the last date you can have your second vaccine before the new regulations start.
Having your first vaccine before 16th September means you will be within the timescale for having the second vaccine before 11th November.
2. What is the latest date I can have my second vaccine?
The latest date you must have your second vaccine by is 11th November.
Had your vaccine already and need to tell us? Jump straight to:
3. I think I’m exempt from having the vaccine. What evidence do I need to provide?
Exemptions for the vaccination can be found in the government’s Green Book.
Currently there is no clear guidance around what evidence you will need to provide if you believe that you are exempt, we will update you as this changes.
The Department of Health advises us that there is likely to be a hotline where you can speak to an adviser and they will advise you if your exemption is legitimate.
4. How will I know if I am exempt from the vaccine?
Exemptions for the vaccination can be found in the Green Book.
5. I don’t want the vaccine for personal reasons. What do I need to do now?
It is important that you feel you have had the opportunity to look at all of the evidence available to you, so that you can make an informed decision. Always used a trusted source, such as the NHS or Government websites. Review the NHS’s information here.
From 11th November 2021 you will be unable to work in the social care sector in England (care homes) unless you can provide evidence that you have had both vaccines.
6. Can I still work if I don’t have the vaccine?
From the 11th November 2021 you will be unable to work in the social care sector in England (care homes) unless you can provide evidence that you have had both vaccines.
You may still be able to work within the home care (domiciliary care) services or the NHS.
7. Where can I get more information from about the new social care guidelines?
The new social care guidelines for people working in care homes in England can be found here.
8. I am unable to get the second vaccine before the 11th November - will I still be able to work?
After the 11th November you will be unable to work in a care home in England until you have had your second vaccine.
This means that you will be unable to pick up shifts via Florence Flex until you have told us that you have had your second vaccine.
9. Will I be required to have the booster vaccine to work on the platform?
There is currently no guidance around the requirement to have had the booster vaccines.
We will update you as and when we find out if this is a requirement.
10. I’m pregnant - does this mean I am exempt from the vaccine?
The vaccine has been approved for use in pregnancy, so you aren’t exempt from getting the vaccine if you’re pregnant.
Seek further advice and guidance from your midwife or doctor, or find more information here.
11. I have decided to have the vaccine - what do I do now?
Click this link to book your first vaccine at a centre near you.
You have until the 16th September to have your first vaccine.
More information about the vaccine can be found here.
What do I need to do on Florence Flex?
You'll need to let us know once you've had your first and second vaccines.
How to tell us your vaccine status
Tell us when you’ve had your first and second vaccines by logging in here and answering the vaccine message that pops up.
As part of this, you'll be asked to provide proof of your vaccination.
We are no longer accepting the small, paper vaccine cards.
If you’ve been vaccinated by the NHS in England you can show us your vaccination status using the NHS COVID Pass service in the following three ways:
• The NHS App
• the NHS website – NHS.uk
• the NHS COVID pass letter
See a helpful guide to approved vaccine proof documentation here. You’ll need to send us a screenshot or photo of any of the above as your evidence.
I can’t upload my evidence. What do I need to do?
Please call your account manager, speak to us using the chat button, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for support with uploading your documents.
What happens if I don’t update my vaccine status?
If you haven’t let us know you’ve had your second vaccine by 11th November, you won’t be able to book shifts with us in England.
After this date, you can only book shifts in England once you let us know you’ve had your second vaccine.
What happens if I get my first vaccine after 16th September?
If you get your first vaccine after 16th September, the date of your second vaccine will be eight weeks later and will fall after 11th November.
You can tell us you've had your second vaccine any time after 11th November and will then be able to continue booking shifts with us.
What if I'm in Scotland or Wales?
The guidelines are for England only, currently.
However, you must tell us you've had your second vaccine if you want to book shifts across the border in England after 11th November.
Here to help
If you have any more questions about the vaccine law and how it might affect you, please get in touch - we’re happy to help.
You may also be interested in: