The government does not know how many staff at over 600 social care providers in England have received a Covid vaccine, according to FactCheck analysis of NHS data.
It comes just weeks after the government announced that all care home staff will have to be fully vaccinated under a new law set to take effect this autumn.
Of the 668 providers missing from the dataset, 452 are in “domiciliary care”, where staff support people in their own homes.
Some 146 are elderly care homes – where figures on how many residents have been jabbed are also missing. The same is true of 70 younger adult care homes, which look after people aged under 65.
That means one in 50 care homes and one in 20 domiciliary care providers have not returned vaccine data.
Care homes were hit particularly hard in the early part of the pandemic, with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate of over 26,000 residents in England up to the end of 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Residents and staff in elderly care homes were among the first to be offered vaccines when the rollout began in December, with frontline workers in the rest of social care included in the second-highest priority group.
The ranking followed advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI), which set out to save as many lives as possible by targeting vaccines at the most vulnerable and their carers first.
The JCVI’s top nine priority groups (which also include the clinically vulnerable, healthcare staff and those over 50) represent 99 per cent of people who died in the first wave.
On 13 April this year, the government met its target to offer everyone in these groups a first vaccine two days ahead of schedule.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “It is completely wrong to suggest because a care home has not reported its vaccine figures the staff have not been vaccinated.
“We have robust data monitoring in place which shows about three quarters of care home workers have received both vaccine doses alongside more than nine in ten residents, to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 among the most vulnerable.
“Vaccines save lives and while vaccination take up from staff and residents in care homes is high, we need to do everything we can to keep reducing the risk, which is why we are bringing in a law meaning all people working in CQC [Care Quality Commission] registered care homes will need to be fully vaccinated.”