FORTY per cent of care home staff working with vulnerable adults in Inverclyde have yet to be vaccinated against coronavirus, the Tele can reveal.

New figures from the local health and social care partnership show that only 60 per cent of the workforce in homes for adults with learning and physical disabilities, as well as mental health conditions, have had their first jag.

In care homes for the elderly a total of 20 per cent of staff are not yet fully protected either.

Over 57 residents living in care homes have lost their lives to Covid-19 since last March, and at the height of the first wave they accounted for 37 per cent of all deaths.

Staff working in homes were among the first to be offered the vaccination when the rollout began.

But according to a new report on vaccinations for staff and residents in care homes, a large section of the workforce in adult care homes have yet to get their Covid-19 jab - despite people with learning disabilities being three times more likely to die from the virus.

Health chiefs say that staff are not obligated to go for a jab.

A spokesman for Inverclyde HSCP said: "Vaccinations for residents in care homes for both adults and older people are undertaken by HSCP staff.

"Staff themselves have been able to access vaccinations since late December either by attending staff clinics organised by the health board at IRH and other venues or within the home whilst we were vaccinating residents.

"Uptake of the vaccine for all members of the population is voluntary and based on informed consent by the individual or their appointee.

"Staff vaccination is not mandatory and all local care homes have supported their staff with information in order for them to make an informed choice about having the vaccination, which is now also available to staff over the age of 18 through the public mass vaccination centres."

Adult care homes in the area look after people with learning and physical disabilities as well as individuals with mental health conditions.

According to the latest figures, in care homes for older people 14 per cent of staff have still to get their first vaccination while 20 per cent have yet to have the second dose.

In adult care homes 40 per cent of staff have still to have their first jab and 60 per cent have still be to be double-vaccinated.

Among elderly residents in care homes 96 per cent have had their first jag and 93 per cent have had their second.

In adult care homes 98 per cent are now fully protected.

The health and social care partnership said: "Due to the nature of care homes where residents will change over a period of time, there will always be individuals who are admitted having not had a first vaccination or awaiting the timescale for a second vaccination and we have processes in place to ensure these are administered."

Analysis by the Scottish Government earlier this year showed adults with learning disabilities were at a greater risk from Covid-19 and three times more likely to die.

The local vaccination update forms part of a wider report setting out protection measures put in place for care homes as visiting restrictions are eased.

Establishments in Inverclyde are now open to 'meaningful contacts and visiting' and all care homes are now open to admissions.

There are no current coronavirus outbreaks in any local care homes, with regular testing continuing.